- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2000

Banana legacy

"One of the legacies of Clintonism is that a large number of our citizens, I fear, have become accustomed to the idea of saying, 'Yes, you may be right about, say, the rule of law' just to take an example at random, which appears to be extensively trampled 'but the Dow Jones is doing pretty well.' Now that's a legacy of a sort… .

"[Lippo Group executive] James Riady is the front man for the Indonesian dictatorship and also for the Chinese military-industrial complex… .

"Is your image of America a place where the Justice Department is run by Webster Hubbell? I don't know. It wouldn't be mine… . And the man is hardly in town before he's going straight to jail. It's an indoor record for a deputy attorney general to go to jail.

"As a jailbird, he's not much good as anybody's legal adviser… . But he might be induced, perhaps, to testify against his boss. So on the very day he's going to jail, he receives a very large subvention of money retaining his legal services from Mr. James Riady who, two days [earlier], met the president in the Oval Office… . Mr. Hubbell then goes to jail and keeps his mouth shut. Mr. Hubbell's telephone conversations from jail are legally monitored and he's heard to say, 'I guess I'll have to roll over one more time.'

"This is a banana republic, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends."

Christopher Hitchens, in an Aug. 16 speech to the Wednesday Morning Club in Los Angeles

Psychic triage

"Now and then I am able to tune in to the radio program of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I find I can put up with these for about 20 minutes, not because her opinions offend, but because of her likeness to a battleground surgeon whose theater fills up so quickly with blood and body parts that the psycho-spiritual gore lying about soon overwhelms.

"This is not a criticism she has to work quickly to save lives. Stretched tenuously between station breaks are the human problems, frequently of astounding proportions, presented by her callers, problems caused by stupidity, bad judgment, bad upbringing, ignorance, pride, covetousness, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, sloth and more frequently than not, by grotesque combinations of these. Dr. Laura probes quickly and does what she can in the allotted time… .

"Dr. Laura does not pretend to give her radio patients everything they may need, but performs a useful service for which only a doctorate in horse sense is required."

S.M. Hutchins, writing in "The Terrible Doctor Laura," in the August Religion & Society Report

The politics of envy

"No sooner was [Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joseph [I.] Lieberman nominated than the Los Angeles Times quoted Louis Farrakhan as questioning Mr. Lieberman's loyalty to the U.S… .

"The Lieberman nomination also prompted an outburst from Lee Alcorn, president of the Dallas chapter of the NAACP [who] warned against 'any kind of partnership between the Jews at that kind of level, because we know that their interest primarily has to do with, you know, money and these kinds of things.' …

"Then there was an editorial in a black newspaper in New York, the Amsterdam News. Its chairman, Wilbert 'Bill' Tatum, who signed the editorial, suggested there was only one reason why Mr. Gore chose Mr. Lieberman: 'Jews from all over the world … will be sending bundles of money.' …

"[Mr. Tatum later gave me] a disquisition to the effect that African-Americans are currently shut out of the millionaires' club that is the U.S. Senate, which, he said, has 11 members from the 2 percent of the population that is Jewish and not one from the 12 percent that is black.

"In other words, it's all a form of zero-sum thinking. This infects a lot more than elements of the black community."

Seth Lipsky, writing on "Zero-Sum Politics," Friday in the Wall Street Journal

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