Archives for Opinion

Who you know, who you blow

Official Washington is holding its collective breath once again. George W. Bush didn't issue any new pardons or signing statements. We haven't thwarted another terrorist attack (assuming, of course, that we've ever thwarted any in the first place) and the bombers are not headed for Iran…yet. No, the whispers in the cloakrooms of Capitol Hill and over drinks in the bar at The Willard Hotel concern who's name may or may not be on Deborah Jeane Palfrey's phone list - the list that shows who did or did not use her ring of high price prostitutes.
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Dick Cheney’s Polaroids

Over lunch last week, a friend speculated that Vice President Dick Cheney must have some interesting Polaroid photos of President George W. Bush. "Nothing else explains why Cheney has so much power," she said. "He's got something to hold over Bush." Interesting thought. Like most politicians, Bush has a closet full of skeletons, although most have been thoroughly vetted by now: Avoiding the Vietnam War by hiding out in the Texas Air Guard, hard drinking, rumors of cocaine use, etc. So what's left for Cheney to know? What could the Polaroid shots show?


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Even sex has abandoned Washington

In 1983, as chief of staff for a newly-elected member of Congress, I interviewed many applicants for jobs in our office. Some were earnest, sincere-sounding youngsters who said they wanted to "do something to help America." I helped America by not hiring them. Others were shopworn Capitol Hill veterans who had never worked outside of government. Didn't hire them either. Still others were recent law school graduates looking to work for low wages to get a foot in the door. No jobs for them in our office: Too many lawyers in Washington already.
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A government unto himself

Dick Cheney was starting his second term in Congress when I arrived in Washington in 1981 as Press Secretary to then-Congressman Paul Findley of Illinois. But Cheney was already on a fast-track to power, moving into chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee after just two years on the Hill. He may have been a newbie in Congress but Cheney was an insider, a former White House chief of Staff with the proverbial friends in high places.
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A Lott of corruption

When Republicans lost control of Congress in the 2006 mid-term election and scandal-scarred Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist went back home to Tennessee, the party of the elephant had a chance to prove it could learn from its mistakes and correct the corrupt abuses of the past. Instead, the party turned to one of its most corrupt, disgraced former majority leader Trent Lott, as its new minority whip in the Senate. Lott's re-emergence as a power broker in the GOP showcases how Republicans still believe in the old-boy system and couldn't care less about reform, decency or rule of law.
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Friends don’t let friends discuss politics

Met an old friend for lunch the other day. We worked together in GOP politics in the 80s, helping elect Republicans to Congress and state offices. Back in the day, he was the true believer, a supporter of the policies of Ronald Reagan and the GOP principles of less government, fiscal responsibility and states' rights. I didn't believe. I was a political whore, in it for the money and the experience. Politics was, and is, a heady business. I could have worked for either party. Republicans paid better in those days and, as a general rule, their checks didn't bounce.
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Bubba’s back in town

Bubba's back and Hillary's Presidential ambitions may rise or fall on his all-to-obvious desire to hog the spotlight. We wondered how long it would be before Bill Clinton took a more active role in his wife's campaign. Bubba is not the type to fade into the background. He's too much of a publicity junkie to play second-fiddle. Stand aside Paris Hilton: Time to take notes from a real master of media manipulation. Bubba is on the case.
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A relative problem for Congress

Memo to all those partisans who claim their party is better than the other guys: Your bubbles have been burst once again. A new study by Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-partisan activist group, found that 72 members of Congress diverted some $5.1 million in campaign funds to their relatives, or companies owned by their relatives, over the past six years. The list includes 41 Republicans and 31 Democrats.
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