In a review
of Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.'s Her
Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton (Little, Brown
& Co., June 2007) in the July 19 issue of The New York Review of
Books, Michael Tomasky highlighted a May 30 written statement (provided in
full below) by historian Taylor Branch that undermines Gerth and Van Natta's
public defenses of a disputed allegation contained in their book -- that after
President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he and Hillary Clinton updated their
alleged "twenty-year project" to include "eight years as president for him, then
eight years for her."
In the book, Gerth and Van Natta attribute this allegation to a secondhand
account by former New York Times reporter Ann
Crittenden and her husband, John Henry, of a conversation they told the
authors they had with Branch in Aspen, Colorado, in which Branch purportedly
disclosed that Bill Clinton had told him of the updated "plan." On the June 12
edition of MSNBC's Hardball, in response to Branch's description of the
allegation as "preposterous," Van Natta suggested that Branch, when interviewed
by the authors during the writing of the book, said he "couldn't remember" the
allegation regarding the Clintons. However, in his May 30 statement, Branch
asserted that what he had been unable to recall was seeing Crittenden and Henry
"in Aspen years ago." As for the alleged conversation between the three of them,
Branch stated that the authors "never told" him what he was "supposed to have
said" to Crittenden and Henry and asserted that it was not until receiving
advanced "proofs" of Her Way that he become aware of the substance of "a
story attributed to me therein from the summer of 1993." Branch further stated
he had "never heard either Clinton talk about a 'plan' for them both to become
As Media Matters for America has noted,
Gerth and Van Natta allege in Her Way that, in the 1970s, the Clintons
agreed to a "twenty-year project," which initially consisted of "a political
partnership with two staggering goals: revolutionize the Democratic Party and,
at the same time, capture the presidency for Bill." Gerth and Van Natta also
claim that the alleged "pact" was expanded after Bill Clinton was elected
president in 1992 to include "eight years as president for him, then eight years
for" Hillary Clinton. Following is the passage from Her Way (Pages
128-129) in which Gerth and Van Natta source this allegation to a secondhand
account of a purported conversation between Bill Clinton and Branch:
By the summer of 1993, the ways of Washington, sometimes called Potomac
fever, had not dissuaded Bill or Hillary. According to one of their closest
friends, Taylor Branch, they still planned two terms in the White House for
Bill and, later, two for Hillary.
Branch described the plan to two Washington friends, John Henry and Ann
Crittenden, over a barbeque dinner at a rodeo in Aspen, Colorado, that summer.
71 The president would frequently talk with Branch, a
well-respected historian and author, about his place in history, and shortly
after he was elected president, Branch said, Bill asked him to begin recording
"diary sessions" as part of an oral-history project.
Branch had just come from one of those sessions, a marathon late-night chat
with Bill at the White House, where the two men had talked as they stood on
the back balcony, looking toward the Washington Monument. Now in the cool
mountains of Colorado, Branch told his friends about the Clintons'
presidential plans. The bold goal of sixteen years in the White House took
Henry's breath away. "I was shocked," he said.
The endnote this passage referred to reads:
71. Author interviews with John Henry and Ann Crittenden in 2007.
Branch, in an interview with one of the authors in 2007, said, "I don't
remember" the conversation but "I'm not denying it." He acknowledged that he
knows Henry and Crittenden and that he has been to Aspen many times. But
Branch declined to discuss Hillary or Bill, saying it was "stupid" to do so in
light of the fact that he was doing his own book on Bill's presidency.
In a May 25 article on the book, the Postreported
that "Branch said that 'the story is preposterous' and that 'I never heard
either Clinton talk about a 'plan' for them both to become president.' " In his
May 30 statement on the "story attributed to me" in Her Way, Branch
called it "disingenuous" for the authors to imply in the above endnote that he
was " 'not denying' the substance of the story," and he stated that Gerth "never
told me what I am supposed to have said in the summer of 1993." Following is
Branch's full statement:
On May 24, 2007, I received by email copies of pages 128, 129, and 372 from
the book Her Way, by Jeff Gerth, along with press inquiries about a
story attributed to me therein from the summer of 1993.
The story is preposterous in several respects. First, I never heard
either Clinton talk about a "plan" for them both to become president. Late in
his second term, she and I did have a few glancing conversations about whether
she might run for the Senate.
Second, my "diary sessions" with President Clinton did not begin until
October of 1993. Before that, I did not see him for the twenty years between
1972 and the end of 1992. We began to get reacquainted in a handful of
encounters during 1993, mostly in large groups. He was not disclosing
long-term family ambitions to me then, and he never subsequently mentioned
anything remotely like those described here.
Third, Mr. Gerth never told me what I am supposed to have said in the
summer of 1993. I learned that only last week from the proofs of his book. It
is disingenuous for him to imply that I am "not denying" the substance of his
story. What I didn't deny is that I saw Ann Crittenden and John Henry in Aspen
years ago. When Mr. Gerth called, I declined his request for an interview and
asked him not to start discussing Clinton stories with me on the telephone.. He
was kind enough to comply.
This is a very small episode in fact, but fiction can readily impugn
motives. Reporters who wish to clarify details on my role may contact me here
Nonetheless, on the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, while
defending the allegation regarding the Clintons' plan that both of them would
become president, Van Natta suggested that what Branch "couldn't remember" was
the allegation itself -- even though, according to Branch, Gerth never informed
him what he was "supposed to have said" to Crittenden and Henry. During his
appearance with Gerth, Van Natta said of the alleged updated plan: "Bill Clinton
said that to Taylor Branch. Taylor Branch said it to two people, who told us on
the record about it. ... Taylor Branch wouldn't comment about it for us. And now
he says he definitely did not say it. But he couldn't remember it when we asked
Furthermore, in his defenses of the allegation, Gerth has misleadingly
suggested that Branch has contradicted himself on the issue, while omitting that
he never informed Branch of the "substance" of the disputed conversation in
During the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Gerth claimed
that he "interviewed Taylor Branch before the book and he didn't remember the
conversation. He now says that he doesn't remember saying this."
On the June 10 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Gerth claimed that
after interviewing Crittenden and Henry he "later contacted Taylor Branch,
asked him if he remembered the dinner in Aspen. He said he didn't, but he said
he wouldn't deny it. Then he later, when the book came out, said it was
During the June 12 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Gerth claimed,
"I called Taylor Branch and he didn't remember the dinner. Now he says he
remembers not saying this particular conversation."
From the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: OK. Let's go to some real controversy here. In your book, Her
Way, you say that Bill and Hillary Clinton had a "twenty-year project" to
-- for both of them to be president.
"More than three decades ago," you quoted, "in the earliest days of their
romance, Bill and Hillary struck a plan, one that would become both the
foundation and the engine of their relationship. They agreed to work together
to revolutionize the Democratic Party and, ultimately, make the White House
their home. Once their 'twenty-year project' was realized, with Bill's victory
in 1992, their plan became even more ambitious: eight years as president for
him, then eight years for her."
To what extent can you prove that they had such a plan, Don?
VAN NATTA: Well, Leon Panetta, who was White House chief of staff in 1996,
heard Bill Clinton say it. The words "twenty-year project" came out of Bill
Clinton's mouth in a conversation with Leon Panetta on Air Force One. We have
Leon Panetta on the record saying it.
We have a second source who heard Bill Clinton say it during the '90s while
he was president.
MATTHEWS: Was that "twenty-year" -- did that 20 years refer to the period
1980 through 2000, when he went from being governor to president? Or do you
suggest or argue that that refers to his presidency, followed by Hillary's
VAN NATTA: No, no, I'm only talking about the "twenty-year project," Chris.
That's from the mid-70s --
VAN NATTA: -- before they even exchanged their marriage vows --
VAN NATTA: -- they exchanged their political vows. That other issue
about the eight years for him followed by eight years for her, Bill Clinton
said that to Taylor Branch. Taylor Branch said it to two people, who told us
on the record about it.
MATTHEWS: And then denied it?
VAN NATTA: Well, Taylor Branch -- we actually contacted Taylor Branch.
Taylor Branch didn't -- wouldn't comment about it for us. And now he says he
definitely didn't say it, but he couldn't remember it when we asked him about
it. He's one of Bill Clinton's best friends.
MATTHEWS: Oh, I know that. I know that very well. Look, here's Senator
Clinton's office. Here's what she had to say in her statement that came out
today on Her Way, "There may debate about whether Tony Soprano died --
but one thing is clear: This book is dead on arrival."
Well, that was -- you know, that's Capitol Hill sort of trash talk. I don't
know what to make of it. Let me go to Ed Schultz. What do you make of the
charges that Clintons had this thing planned from day one; that they were
going to share -- sort of like William and Mary back in England -- they were
going to be dual monarchs, with one following the other in power?
SCHULTZ: Chris, I think it's a sad day in America when this is the best
critique we can give of a couple that has got a record of public service and
wanting to help people, that they would actually have a goal in life. Look at
the lack of participation of young people in this country, and here you have
the Clintons making an example. There's nothing wrong with setting a goal to
be president of the United States.
There's nothing wrong with couples setting political goals. The fact is the
Clinton years were productive for this country and a lot of people, especially
in the Midwest, are looking for maybe more of the same if Hillary can win the
nomination. I think it's great. What a great example that -- for young people
that it's good to have a goal and move forward.
They didn't break any laws doing this. They had a goal. They want to help
VAN NATTA: Chris, we don't -- we don't make any judgment that it's a bad
thing or a good thing. We simply report this. This is news. This is
interesting. It's revealing. In Hillary Clinton's own book, her autobiography
Living History, she doesn't signal any impulse at all for ambition. You
know, it's incredible. She says that she ran for the Senate basically by
From the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
GERTH: Sure, it's a fascinating, you know, probably one of the most
fascinating relationships, and I think, I've said this before, no person can
crawl inside someone else's marriage, so I don't want to pretend that we know,
you know, everything about their marriage, but I do think we demonstrate in
the book that they took their political vows before their marital vows. And we
describe, as described to us by Leon Panetta, the former chief of staff for
President Clinton, this audacious plan. Bill Clinton called it their
"twenty-year project," which was hatched in the 1970s when they were in their
mid-20s, and the goal put together by he and Hillary was to reshape the
Democratic Party and capture the presidency, which, of course, they did.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, no doubt about it. Hey, talk about the personal aspect
of it where you have people talking about this relationship and so many people
have been writing about it since Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992.
You usually have people close to them saying, despite how tortured it became
in later years, that Hillary was deeply, deeply in love with Bill Clinton.
SCARBOROUGH: Finally, I was -- John Ridley was just handed me a note
talking about this "twenty-year plan." I know even before the book came out
you were challenged on the plan. What's the suggestion, that Panetta was just
talking about Bill Clinton--
GERTH: No, no, no. The challenge is--
SCARBOROUGH: -- and not Hillary?
GERTH: It's something different. No one's challenged Leon Panetta's
account. I mean, Panetta heard it from Bill Clinton himself. What we also
write about in the book is that once they got into the White House in 1993 and
had achieved the "twenty-year project," we recount an episode at a dinner, at
a barbeque dinner in Aspen, Colorado, where two friends of Taylor Branch say
he told them that he had just come from the White House and Bill had talked to
him about his plan of serving eight years in the White House, hardly a
surprise, and that Hillary then would, at some point, have eight years of his
[sic] own. Now, Taylor Branch has -- I interviewed Taylor Branch before the
book and he didn't remember the conversation. He now says that he doesn't
remember saying this, but I should also point out that Taylor Branch
has admitted that when it comes to Bill Clinton, he can't be objective.
So, it's a "he said-she said" versus a "he said."
From the June 10 edition of NBC News' Meet the Press:
RUSSERT: Let's go right to it. One of the important parts of this book is
this notion of a grand design by Bill and Hillary Clinton to each serve two
terms in the White House. This is the way you write about it: "By the summer
of 1993, the ways of Washington ... had not dissuaded Bill or Hillary.
According to one of their closest friends, Taylor Branch, they still planned
two terms in the White House for Bill, and, later, two for Hillary."
You know what's happened now. This is The Washington Post reporting
on this: "The authors report that the Clintons updated their plan after the
1992 election, determining that Hillary would run when Bill left office. They
cite two people, [former Times reporter] Ann Crittenden and John Henry,
who said Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and close Clinton
friend, told them, 'The Clintons still planned two terms in the White House
for Bill, later, two for Hillary.' Contacted last night, Branch said that 'the
story is preposterous. I never heard either Clinton talk about a plan for them
both to become president.' " What do you say?
GERTH: Well, Tim, I interviewed Ann Crittenden and John Henry, and they
both separately recalled a barbecue dinner in Aspen, Colorado, in 1993 at a
rodeo with Taylor Branch, and they were remembering him saying that he had
just come from the White House -- he's a historian, and he had begun talking
with President Clinton, and he told them about -- that Bill Clinton was going
to serve eight years and then, at some point, Hillary was going to do eight
years in the White House.
I later contacted Taylor Branch, asked him if he remembered the dinner
in Aspen. He said he didn't, but he said he wouldn't deny it. Then he, later,
when the book came out, said it was preposterous. I think I would add,
Taylor is a respected historian, but he himself has admitted that when it
comes to Bill Clinton, he can't be objective. So there are two people -- you
know, Ann Crittenden's an award-winning journalist -- two people who say,
"Yea," and Taylor Branch says, "Nay."
I mean -- I think more interestingly and more surprisingly, the ambition of
the Clintons going back to when they were in their 20s, and the 20-year
project that Leon Panetta remembers Bill Clinton describing to him.
RUSSERT: Well, Panetta said Bill Clinton running for president --
RUSSERT: -- but it was never about Hillary.
GERTH: No. But, but Bill Clinton, of course, at that point in the '70s,
even before they married, was talking about Hillary Clinton -- that she could
be president, but she'd had to subordinate her plans, of course, to his,
coming to Arkansas.
RUSSERT: Philippe Reines, the press secretary for Senator Clinton, offered
this statement to Meet the Press: "I have an on-the-record, named
source extremely familiar with the facts of her life -- and I'm telling you
it's absurd, bogus, nonsensical, conjured. Take your pick" -- his source
obviously being Senator Clinton.
VAN NATTA: Well, Senator Clinton didn't speak with us for this book, Tim,
RUSSERT: Did you ask her?
VAN NATTA: We did. We went to her at the very beginning. In fact, I reached
out to Howard Wolfson, her communications person, and when we told him about
this book, he sighed audibly and it was as if somebody had punched him in the
stomach, and he let us know that she had heartburn, basically, about this
book, and so did [Clinton communications director] Lorraine Voles.
And it went beyond just Senator Clinton not cooperating with us. She put
out the word not only to her aides and friends not to cooperate, and we were
lucky that some did, but she also had -- some of her people on her staff urged
some senators not to talk to us, including Harry Reid. So I'm not at all
surprised by Philippe's statement.
RUSSERT: Jeff Gerth, also -- supporters of Hillary Clinton say your wife is
a foreign policy adviser for Chris Dodd, and that's a conflict of interest,
because he's running against Senator Clinton, and you shouldn't be authoring a
book against one of Senator Dodd's opponents.
From the June 12 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now:
ZAHN: Yeah, very quickly in closing, Taylor Branch, a famous author, who
happens to be a very good friend of Bill Clinton's, says that your notion of
this project is nuts -- that he is close to the president, the president has
never admitted to anything like that. He thinks you're pretty much making this
GERTH: Well, we had two people who told us this story on the record. They
heard it from Taylor Branch in Aspen, Colorado, at a barbecue dinner at a
rodeo. And I called Taylor Branch, and he didn't remember the dinner. Now
he says he remembers not saying this particular conversation. And I'll add he
is a respected historian, but he's also admitted that when it comes to Bill
Clinton, he can't be objective.
ZAHN: Well, it looks like at least half of the project they talked about
was committed to and delivered upon.
If you love Michael Moore and are absolutely determined to overlook how much
of a liar he is, you probably will enjoy his latest movie, "Sicko",
immensely (you may well have seen it already, maybe even more than once).
Without the blinders, however, there is a tidal wave of dishonesty in this
film. So much that even usually reliable liberal publications like the
Washington Times and New York Times can't ignore it.
Here is an article by Sally Pipes, the president and CEO of the Pacific
Research Institute and author of "Miracle Cure: How to solve America's
Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn't The Answer", that exposes Moore's
Again, if you love this man and are absolutely determined to "know" that
everything he says is the god's honest truth, this will roll off of you like
water off a duck's back. But if you aren't, it is devastating:
More lies from Moore
BY SALLY PIPES
Posted Friday, July 6th
2007, 4:00 AM
Be Our Guest In
"Sicko," Michael Moore uses a clip of my appearance earlier this year on "The
O'Reilly Factor" to introduce a segment on the glories of Canadian health
Moore adores the Canadian system. I do
I am a new American, but I grew up and worked
for many years in Canada. And I know the health care system of my native country
much more intimately than does Moore. There's a good reason why my former
countrymen with the money to do so either use the services of a booming industry
of illegal private clinics, or come to America to take advantage of the health
care that Moore denounces.
Government-run health care in Canada
inevitably resolves into a dehumanizing system of triage, where the weak and the
elderly are hastened to their fates by actuarial calculation. Having fought the
Canadian health care bureaucracy on behalf of my ailing mother just two years
ago - she was too old, and too sick, to merit the highest quality care in the
government's eyes - I can honestly say that Moore's preferred health care system
is something I wouldn't wish on him.
In 1999, my uncle was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. If he'd lived in America, the miracle drug Rituxan might
have saved him. But Rituxan wasn't approved for use in Canada, and he lost his
battle with cancer.
But don't take my word for it: Even the
Toronto Star agrees that Moore's endorsement of Canadian health care is
overwrought and factually challenged. And the Star is considered a left-wing
newspaper, even by Canadian standards.
Just last month, the Star's Peter Howell
reported from the Cannes Film Festival that Mr. Moore became irate when Canadian
reporters challenged his portrayal of their national health care system. "You
Canadians! You used to be so funny!" exclaimed an exasperated Moore, "You gave
us all our best comedians. When did you turn so dark?"
Moore further claimed that the infamously long
waiting lists in Canada are merely a reflection of the fact that Canadians have
a longer life expectancy than Americans, and that the sterling system is swamped
by too many Canadians who live too long.
Canada's media know better. In 2006, the
average wait time from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a
specialist was more than four months. Out of a population of 32 million, there
are about 3.2 million Canadians trying to get a primary care doctor. Today,
according to the OECD, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 major industrialized
countries in doctors per thousand people.
Unfortunately, Moore is more concerned with
promoting an anti-free-market agenda than getting his facts straight. "The
problem," said Moore recently, "isn't just [the insurance companies], or the
Hospital Corporation and the Frist family - it's the system! They can't make a
profit unless they deny care! Unless they deny claims! Our laws state very
clearly that they have a legal fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits for
the shareholders ... the only way they can turn the big profit is to not pay out
the money, to not provide the care!"
Profit, according to the filmmaker-activist,
has no place in health care - period.
Moore ignores the fact that 85% of hospital
beds in the U.S. are in nonprofit hospitals, and almost half of us with private
plans get our insurance from nonprofit providers. Moreover, Kaiser Permanente,
which Moore demonizes, is also a nonprofit.
What's really amazing is that even the
intended beneficiaries of Moore's propagandizing don't support his claims. The
Supreme Court of Canada declared in June 2005 that the government health care
monopoly in Quebec is a violation of basic human rights.
Moore put me, fleetingly, into "Sicko" as an
example of an American who doesn't understand the Canadian health care system.
He couldn't be more wrong. I've personally endured the creeping disaster of
Canadian health care. Most unlike him, I'm willing to tell the truth about
Pipes is the president and CEO of the Pacific
Research Institute and author of "Miracle Cure: How to Solve America's Health
Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn't the Answer." .
With this level of dishonesty about health care, combined with Moore's
abiding hatred of President Bush, the Republican party, pretty much everything
the USA does in its self interest and,a level of fawning over Fidel Castro
that approaches outright grovelling, how can he miss for another
Impeach, Indict, get back billions stolen by Cheney. Watch this
The time has come to hold Dick Cheney accountable for his crimes
against the people of the United States and the world - and the
Constitution of the United States.
We have formed a brand new
partnership with many great progressive groups and Brave New
Films, the creators of powerful documentaries like Iraq
for Sale, OutFoxed, Wal-Mart, and Uncovered -
the War on Iraq.
And we have just released a
powerful short video showing Cheney's most bald-faced lies about Iraq
The time for accountability is now - not after
Cheney leaves office. Thanks to your efforts, 14 Democrats already support
H.Res. 333, Articles of Impeachment for Dick Cheney. With a little more
effort, we'll get enough Democrats on board to start impeachment hearings
in the House Judiciary Committee. And when the American people see the
evidence in our video with their own eyes, they will join us in demanding
accountability for Dick Cheney.
Impeach. That's right, we said the "I"
word. And you should be saying it too -- to your family, your
friends, your neighbors, your pets and the hearty 26% of Americans
who somehow still believe the Bush/Cheney team more worthy of
sitting in the Oval Office than an undisclosed location stripped of
all authority to further damage the country we love.
You'll want to say it even more after watching
our video with the evidence for impeachment right there:
Dick Cheney has been a malevolent force
on the checks and balances of American government for over six
years. He has subverted government processes to lead us into this
tragedy in Iraq, and is now seeking to do the same with Iran. Two
countries, mind you, that he did business with while CEO of
We are at an important moment in
American history. For if we don't take action in light of the High
Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by one Richard Cheney, we might as
well throw the "I" word away. Because there will never be a time
when it is more justified.
14 representatives already support H.
Res 333, the Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney. Your
signatures will be used to get other House members to to sign on.. We
are working with a substantial and growing coalition led by
Let's make this travesty a turning
point in our history. Please join us in restoring democratic
principles to our government by IMPEACHING DICK CHENEY.
Sincerely, Robert, Cliff, Paris, Jim
G and the entire Brave New Films team
You have to hand it to the Clintons. When they got rich off of his
presidency, they did spread some money around to the family too......
near legal settlement
By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press
Writer 6 minutes ago
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A lawyer for the brother of
Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton said he's confident he can avoid a trial next week and settle a
lawsuit that accuses Tony Rodham of failing to repay debts to a Tennessee
That should be a relief to Clinton's 2008
presidential campaign since the case could have revived stories about how her
brothers accepted money from people pardoned by her husband, President Bill
Rodham is accused of failing to repay $107,000
plus interest to the bankrupt estate of Edgar Allen Gregory Jr. and his wife,
Vonna Jo, both of whom received a presidential pardon in 2000. .
You're damn right he'll settle. All Hillary needs is for her
neer-do-well brother, who made a fortune by being inserted into the CIGARETTE
SETTLEMENT in Florida years ago, to go down on his involvement in the selling of
Wasn't it hillary, just this week, attacking President
Bush for commuting the sentence of (NOT pardoning) Lewis Libby? Hey, we can't have people remembering what SHE
was involved with, and that it was a family affair (her brother
Hugh, Bill's brother Roger, etc. I wonder if Chelsea got in on the gravy
train as well).
George Will once said of Bill Clinton "there have been worse presidents but
there wasn't a worse man who was president" As far as I'm concerned, that
goes for the old lady too.
TODAY RUNS INTERFERENCE FOR GORE
Yesterday I blogged about my hope that political types would not use Al
Gore III's obviously troubled life to attack his father.
I have to admit that I didn't consider the opposite outrage - i.e. that it
would be used as an attack against opponents of Gore and the Democratic
party. My mistake. You can never count out the Today show when
it comes to media bias.
The Today show's network, NBC, has a bit of a problem, you see. They
are broadcasting hours upon hours of live concerts and other promotional
programming for Al Gore's pet project, global warming. So they have a
stake in keeping him on a pedestal that goes beyond the
simple political bias so pervasive on that show.
How did they do it? I'll show you, courtesy of Mark Finkelstein's
article from www.newsbusters.com. :.
As noted here, MSNBC's John Ridley
went off on Al Gore this morning, suggesting he should hug his kid rather than
the planet, save his son, not ice caps. But over at NBC's "Today", it was a more
predictable MSM response, as the show sought to downplay the Gore incident by
pointing to Republican politicians whose kids have caused trouble, while
praising Chelsea Clinton as unusually mature.
Introducing the segment,
Meredith Vieira shifted the spotlight from Gore's situation to the broader
'TODAY' CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA:
And now to politicians and their children. It's tough being a parent,
and as former Vice-Pesident Al Gore learned this week, it's even tougher
when you're in the public eye and your child makes a big
NBC reporter John Yang, who
narrated the segment, was also in an understanding mood.
YANG: The arrest of his son and namesake on
drug charges is giving former Vice-President Al Gore a lesson that millions of
parents have learned before.
Cut to a clip of presidential historian Allan
Lichtman,happy to let Al off the hook: "There are things you can control, and
things you can't control in your own children's conduct." Roll footage of the
Bush daughters, including the shot shown here of Jenna.
YANG: The saga of Al Gore III is
just the latest example of politicians being embarrassed by their
children, something that seems to be part of the political landscape.
President Bush's twin daughters gained notoriety with citations for underage
But there was a bright spot in Yang's tour of
YANG: Some seem to behave better
than their parents. Chelsea Clinton seemed to literally hold her parents
together at the height of her father's Monica Lewinsky scandal. For the
most part, voters don't seem to hold politicians responsible for the sins of
their children. Ronald Reagan's popularity didn't suffer when his daughter
Patti Davis publicly denounced her parents as dysfunctional.
Cut to another Lichtman clip: "We should judge
politicans according to how well they serve the public interest, not necessarily
how well they order and manage their own families.
That set Yang up for
one last snide swipe at a Republican. The screen showed a clip of Rudy
Giuliani's first mayoral inaugural, where his then seven-year old son Andrew was
a bit rambunctious.
YANG: A thought that should come to
some politicians as a great relief.
Let's review. Al Gore III was arrested for
speeding 100 MPH with pot and a variety of other drugs in his car. Yang equates
that with the Bush girls drinking -- but not driving -- while underage, with
Patti Davis making a statement about her parents, and with the harmless antics
of a young boy. But it's all good in service of diluting Al's embarrassment in a
sea of moral equivalence. .
Wow. Could that have been more protective of the Al Gore
Ask yourself: Would The Today Show have run interference
for President Bush and his daughters the way they did for Al Gore and his
son? DID they?
And did you enjoy that little paean to the great and wonderful Chelsea Clinton? Would they have done that
for Michael Reagan, who proudly spoke up for his parents when daughter
Patti was selling books by accusing the Reagans of dysfunctionality? DID they?
Sometimes the level of bias is literally breathtaking.
ROBERT WEXLER FINDS ANOTHER DIVERSION
As you can see from the previous blog, posted by Barry Sinrod, Robert Wexler is
going to introduce a resolution censuring President Bush for commuting Lewis Libby's
sentence (not pardoning him, but commuting his prison time). I
have a few questions:
-Did Wexler introduce any resolutions censuring Bill Clinton for pardoning
the scum of the earth - 140 of them, one worse than the next - on his way
out of the white house in January, 2001? Did he even object?
-Did Wexler introduce any resolutions censuring Bill Clinton when he
pardoned 16 Puerto Rican terrorists (yes terrorists, F.A.L.N. members)
who didn't even ASK to be pardoned, while hillary was running for the senate
in New York? Did he even object?
-Has Wexler demanded that Richard Armitage, the man who leaked valerie
plame's name, be indicted? Or is he completely ignoring Armitage along
with the rest of the Democrats who - until it turned out it the culprit wasn't
part of the Bush administration - were screaming for the leaker's head on a
-Does Wexler, or reid or pelosi or any of the other terminally angry, whining contingent
of Democrats understand that, by doing this absolute garbage instead
of trying to legislate and get something done to benefit the country, their
approval ratings have done straight down the toilet?
The last 6 approval ratings for the Democratic congress, from www.pollingreport.com, range from 23%
to 27%. And before you assume this must be all Fox News Channel data (if
you're a leftwing nutcake you might think that way), the sources are CBS,
Newsweek, Gallup, NBC/Wall St. Journal, Quinnipiac and LA
I don't know for sure how the 2008 elections will go. But here's what I
do know: We have a war in progress, an immigration/border crisis, a health
care battle royal, soaring energy prices, and a raft of other exceedingly
important issues. And the Democratic congress is doing what? Going
all out to annoy Republicans to death with things like non-binding, meaningless
resolutions designed to do nothing but reaffirm that Democrats don't like
Republicans, as if this was a news flash.
When do they stop putzing around and start legislating? When do they do
something that MEANS something for the country?
WHO SAYS THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS ISN'T DOING ANYTHING?
Anyone who claims we have a do-nothing Democratic congress is dead wrong, and
I can prove it!
Read this, courtesy of the Associated Press. As usual, the bold print
White House raps
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press
WriterThu Jul 5, 5:26 PM ET
The White House on Thursday pushed back
against congressional investigations of the Bush administration and said
lawmakers should spend more time passing bills to solve domestic
In a constitutional showdown with Congress,
the administration claimed executive privilege and rejected demands for White
House documents about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
The House and Senate Judiciary committees have
set a deadline of 10 a.m. next Monday for the White House to explain its basis
for the claim.
The administration has not said when or if it
will respond. Spokesman Scott Stanzel said Thursday the White House has
received a many requests for information since Democrats took control of
Congress in January and has turned over 200,000 pages of
"They've launched over 300
investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and interviews and they have
had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100 days," Stanzel
Democrats were dubious of the figures
but did not offer their own.
"His numbers are as faulty as the intelligence
they used to make their case for war," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"In the last six years, all they've had is a
rubber-stamp Congress. Since January, Democrats have demanded accountability, a
change of course and transparency," Manley said.
Stanzel said he arrived at the numbers
by canvassing departments and agencies about the number of inquires and
investigations initiated by Congress since the Democrats took
The assertion of executive privilege was the
latest turn in an increasingly hostile standoff over the Iraq war, executive
power, the war on terror and Vice President Dick Cheney's
Subpoenas have been delivered to the offices
of Bush, Cheney, the national security adviser and the Justice Department about
the administration's warrantless wiretapping program.
In a letter to Congress last week, White House
counsel Fred Fielding said the administration had rejected subpoenas for
documents through the claim of executive privilege. That letter also made it
clear that neither former presidential counsel Harriet Miers nor former White
House political director Sara Taylor would testify on Capitol Hill next week, as
directed by the subpoenas.
Stanzel said Congress has "a lot to
show in terms of activity and requests and letter-writing, and that sort of
thing, but not much to show in the way of real legislation."
Regular readers know that I've been deriding the Democratic congress for
weeks now, over their obsession with hearings and investigations and subpoenas
and anything they can think of........other than legislating on behalf of the
Less than a week ago I ended a blog by saying the following:
"When do these people do something useful? When do they stop
politicking and start legislating? Ever?"
Let me ask that again: When DO they stop politicking and start
JOE BIDEN: BARROOM LOUDMOUTH
I didn't see any report about senator joe biden's unbelievably stupid big mouth on the Today show this morning.
Presumably, this is because it wasn't Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh
Following is an article - little more than a squib,
in reality - from the New York Times, which cites comments biden made
while campaigning in Iowa on July 4th. (I'll discuss the
Times' coverage below). I'm sure he's very proud:.
DES MOINES Joseph Biden, the Delaware
Democrat running for president, is a man of strong opinions. During a campaign
event in a Des Moines backyard today, Mr. Biden had some choice words for
President Bush and two of the Republicans running for the White House.
This guy is brain dead, Mr. Biden said to
surprised applause and laughter from the crowd. I know Ill be quoted, Ill be
killed for that.
This is a guy who is on the balls of his
heels, heres a guy who is lower off in the polls than any president in modern
history and he goes ahead and he does something that just flies in the face of
the sensibilities of the American people.
A few minutes later, Mr. Biden turned his
sights on Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, and a Republican
running for president. I can hardly wait to debate Rudy Giuliani if he is their
nominee, he said. Because I will eat his lunch. The next time I hear a
Republican talk about us being tough on terror give me a
Finally, Mr. Bidens target was Mitt Romney,
the Massachusetts Republican running for president. I found Romneys statements
yesterday profound crazy when he talked about going to war with Iran, he
said. Why are we talking about going to war with Iran? .
Here is a United States Senator calling our President "brain dead", challenging the former
Mayor of New York City roughly the way a fourth grader would challenge another
kid during recess, and then calling the former Governor of Massachusetts
I can't help recalling that line from Forest Gump, where Bubba's mother asks
him "are you just stupid?" Forest answers "Stupid is as stupid
does". In those five words Forest Gump managed to perfectly define
Biden isn't getting any presidential nomination. Not in 2008 and not
ever. I would like to think one of the reasons is that big, stupid,
obnoxious, idiot's mouth of his.
And now let's get to media bias.
If this were a Republican talking about Democrats, do you think the
New York Times would report it as an innocuous little nothing buried in the
middle of the news section? Do you think they'd characterize those quotes only as
that the candidate "talked tough"?
Do you think the Times would not use this incident - probably with
an accompanying editorial - to "prove" how low-down and unworthy that Republican
was? Do you doubt that they would toss in a comment about how the
electorate could never put someone like this in a position where he/she would
talk to foreign leaders? How a person like this could never be
respected or trusted by them?
Well, this isn't a Republican, it is a Democrat. So not one word about
it. You're lucky it was reported at all.
I regularly point out media bias in this blog, and like to think that the
examples I provide are pretty obvious. This one is right at the top of the
Republicans are tired of OVERSIGHT. Because they did not a one before Democrats
won back the house. More to come. But they love to
stonewall. If they did nothing wrong, then why not give up the
Things just aren't
what they used to be.
Nowadays, hardly an arbitrary exertion of executive
power goes by without examination. Fire eight U.S. attorneys at once, and
Congress starts asking questions. Commute the sentence of your former aide who
was convicted of lying to protect senior administration officials and within a
week, there's a hearing. Even your off-the-record email system is exposed, so
that now there might be a record of Karl Rove's communications.
House is not happy, as spokesman Scott Stanzel made clear during yesterday's
press briefing. Clearly, the Democratic Congress is in some sort of oversight
frenzy, cross-eyed and foaming at the mouth, issuing subpoenas every waking
would note that we do get a lot of inquiries from the Hill. They've launched
over 300 investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and
interviews...And they have had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100
days -- so that's about six oversight hearings a day. And we've turned over
200,000 pages of documents as an administration.
It's just no
fun being in power any more.
Of course, Democrats, with characteristic
skepticism, question the White House's numbers.
My congressman and good friend Robert Wexler moves to Censure BUSH
Congressman wants to censure Bush over Libby commutation
07/05/2007 @ 1:46 pm
Filed by RAW STORY
Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., plans to introduce a resolution that would
censure President Bush over his decision to commute the prison sentence faced by
former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the congressman said Thursday.
"This presidential intervention is an unconscionable abuse of authority by
George W. Bush, and Congress must step forward and express the disgust that
Americans rightfully feel toward this contemptible decision," Wexler said in a
statement released by his congressional office.
Wexler, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, plans to introduce his
resolution when Congress returns from its Independence Day recess next week.
The five-term congressman said Bush's decision was "nothing short of [a]
political quid pro quo, and Congress must go on record in strong
The resolution is likely to be introduced first for consideration by the
Judiciary Committee before it would be considered by the full House, a Palm
Beach Post blog reported
Thursday morning. The non-binding resolution simply expresses the sense of the
House that Bush acted improperly and does not carry any other penalty.
Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice related to a
criminal probe into the Bush administration's leaking the identity of covert CIA
agent Valerie Plame, whose husband Joseph Wilson was critical of administration
claims on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
"This deceitful chain of events began with the Administrations falsifying of
intelligence on Iraqi nuclear capabilities," Wexler said. "It is clear that the
perjury of Mr. Libby in this case effectively protected President Bush, Vice
President Cheney, and other Administration officials from further scrutiny
regarding the clear political retaliation against former Ambassador Joseph
Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert CIA agent."
The full text of the resolution is reprinted below:
Resolution relating to the censure of George W. Bush
Whereas President George W. Bush has failed to comply with his obligations
under Executive Order 12958 concerning the protection of classified national
security information in that the covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson as a
Central Intelligence Agency operative was revealed to members of the media, and
in June 2003 Bush Administration officials discussed with various reporters the
identity of Ms. Wilson as a covert Central Intelligence Agency operative;
Whereas on July 14, 2003, the name of Ms. Wilson and her status as a CIA
operative was revealed publicly in a newspaper column by Robert Novak, and on
September 16, 2003 the Central Intelligence Agency advised the Department of
Justice that Ms. Wilsons status as a covert operative was classified
information and requested a federal investigation;
A TASTE OF THE FUTURE: PART 15
It has been
a while since I did one of these. Not that there's any problem finding
examples, but because I don't want to be too repetitive.
Anyway, enough time has passed so that the next
installment is long overdue, so here is another taste of what life will be like if radical islamists make good on their
intent to take over the world. And when you read it, keep in mind
that Malaysia is thought of as a MODERATE muslim state. :.
Malaysian singer draws ire of religious
police Fri Jul 6, 2007 8:17 AM
(Reuters) - Malaysia's religious police detained a Muslim singer at a popular
club, saying too much of her back was exposed by a sleeveless blouse she wore
while performing, media reported on Wednesday.
Siti Noor Idayu Abd Moin, 24, has been ordered
to go before the sharia, or Islamic court, at Ipoh in the northern state of
Perak, on Aug 6, to face charges of "revealing her body" and "promoting vice",
the New Straits Times said.
"I was surprised when the officers told me
this top was too revealing," Noor Idayu said after being released from a night's
detention on a bond of 1,000 ringgit ($290).
"Sometimes I wear something similar when I go
out in the day. This is sexy? I don't think so."
The singer was picked up along with four
members of her band, and subjected to repeated breathalyser tests by officials
in futile attempts to prove she had drunk liquor, the paper
"When I passed the test, the female officers
seemed disappointed and asked me to do it again," Noor Idayu said. "I did so
willingly as I knew that I did not drink. Not once in my three years of singing
in clubs have I drunk liquor."
Alcohol is freely available in mainly Muslim
Malaysia, which has sizeable non-Muslim minorities, although Islamic officials
often frown on behaviour they consider to deviate from strict Koranic
"A Muslim woman is not allowed to serve or
entertain a man who is not her husband in a place where immoral activities
usually take place," Jamry Sury, chief of the Perak religious police who raided
the club, told the Star newspaper. .
Take a good look. This is what will replace western civilization if we allow it to.
And it will be the way YOU live.
If we fight against radical islam we may win and we may lose. If we do
not, we will most assuredly lose because, either way, they
will continue fighting. And if they win,
our culture and our civilization is over, to be replaced by
what? Having religious police decide what people can wear?
God help the people who want to live this way. I know I'm not one
of them. Are you?
We play political games with this war at our own peril.
END OF THE LINE FOR MCCAIN?
Here is a short article about Ron Paul. But it may well be an
epitaph for John McCain as well:.
Ron Paul Tops McCain in Cash on
July 06, 2007 1:14
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Reports:
Though often regarded as a longshot candidate for president, Republican Ron Paul
tells ABC News that he has an impressive $2.4 million in cash on hand after
raising an equal amount during the second quarter, putting him ahead of one-time
Republican frontrunner John McCain, who reported this week he has only $2
million in the bank.
In an exclusive interview taped Friday and
airing Sunday on "This Week," Paul said his campaign is on a better trajectory
"I think some of the candidates are on the
down-slope, and we're on the up-slope," said Paul.
Paul's cash on hand puts him in third place in
the Republican field in that important metric, although he is well behind leader
Rudy Giuliani, who has $18 million in the bank, and Mitt Romney, with $12
Paul, who polls show with support in the low
single digits, said his surprisingly strong fundraising is the best measure of
"I think people have underestimated the number
of people in this country who are interested in a freedom message," says the
Republican congressman from Texas, who has strong libertarian leanings.
As the article says, Ron Paul has little support among Republican
voters. Yet he is able to raise more funds for his quixotic, going-nowhere
presidential campaign, then Senator McCain. That, to me, means that McCain is
finished as a presidential candidate.
I admire Senator McCain enormously. He is a genuine hero. And I
don't mean a kerry-like burlesque show, made to fool sheeple, I mean REAL
John McCain spent 5 1/2 years in a prisoner of war camp under
conditions I don't even want to think about. During that time his captors,
who tortured him regularly, found out who is father was (a four star
Admiral and Commander In Chief of the Pacific Command). Probaby more out of fear than anything else,
the vietcong offered to free him. But McCainrefused that
freedom unless all of his fellow prisoners were released too. You find
that kind of guts and honor once in a generation.
Politically, however, things are as they are.
And there are some harsh realities for Senator McCain to face. He is over 70
years of age, he is not connecting with as many voters as he did years ago
(that's worthy of an entire blog all by itself, but not today) and it does not
appear that he is a viable presidential candidate anymore.
Now, what about the possibility of McCain being a VP candidate?
That, I would think is a far better prospect. He still has a significant
following, he is still strong in the Southwest and is highly
attractive to several specific population segments. Senator
McCain would probably be a particularly valuable addition for someone like, say,
Rudy Giuliani, who would need to shore up the conservative base and would need a
boost in states like Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
Finally, the big question: would John McCain BE a Vice Presidential candidate? Would he leave
the senate for it? That I don't know. But I do know he'd bring
dramatically more to a ticket than, say, john edwards, whose oily slickness
didn't get even one southern state for Kerry in 2004, not even edwards' home
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