- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 17, 2003

Conquering America

“Normally changes of this magnitude only happen to conquered nations,” William Buchanan tells Inside the Beltway.

“Even I find these figures eye-popping,” says the member of the American Council for Immigration Reform, referring to Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the growth of the Hispanic civilian work force over the past 10 years is far greater than the non-Hispanic white labor force.

During the same period, starting from a slightly smaller base, the Hispanic labor force has grown by more than three times the amount of the black labor force.

The BLS figures show the white work force grew by 5.1 million (5 percent gain) from 1992 to 2002, the black work force increased by 2.1 million (almost a 16 percent gain), while the Hispanic work force grew by 6.6 million (a jump of more than 58 percent).

At the close of 2002, the white work force stood at over 103 million, the Hispanic work force at 18 million, while blacks held 16 million jobs. All other non-Hispanics filled 2.8 million of the country’s jobs.

The total U.S. civilian work force stands at 145 million, up from 128 million in 1992.

Not above the law

One public interest law firm, in particular, is praising this week’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals to limit the recoupment of legal fees from U.S. taxpayers by former President Bill Clinton and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation, after all, successfully pursued law license sanctions against Mr. Clinton.

“Our organization spent three years in the successful effort to hold Mr. Clinton professionally accountable for lying under oath and obstructing justice in a court case,” says Lynn Hogue, chairman of SLF’s legal advisory board and Arkansas-licensed lawyer who brought the initial bar complaint against the president in 1998.

“This sad episode serves to remind members of the legal profession that they are duty-bound to protect the integrity of the judicial system no matter what elevated position they might hold,” he says.

A constitutional law professor at Georgia State University College of Law, Mr. Hogue notes both Clintons are lawyers and, as such, “they continue to fall under a special and strict set of rules designed to protect the integrity of the legal system that do not apply to non-lawyers.”

Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court disbarred Mr. Clinton, SLF criticized the couple’s attempt to recoup from taxpayers somewhere between $1 million and $6 million in legal fees resulting from the Whitewater investigation. The Clintons’ joint net worth is now estimated to be more than $15 million.

Post-Nixon crime

Susan Ford, who spent her formative years living in the White House as daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and first lady Betty Ford (she never got the attention Chelsea Clinton did, but today’s entertainment “media” wasn’t around yet), has just written her second mystery novel.

The plot: Is the killer stalking the president’s daughter, or is the real target the dad?

Either way, the White House is the setting (Mrs. Ford draws on her memories from living there) for the sleuthing in “Sharp Focus” (Thomas Dunne Books).

Bunning’s slider

You know the dog days of summer are upon us when the political junkies of Washington turn to America’s pastime — baseball.

Our mailbox is jammed after writing this week that a valuable baseball was stolen from the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Jim Bunning, Kentucky Republican and Hall of Fame pitcher. The missing autographed (Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra and others) baseball was from the 1957 All-Star game, in which Mr. Bunning was the starting and winning pitcher.

Most readers expressed dismay that somebody would dare snatch the senator’s prized souvenir. Others wrote to say they had no idea the senator was Jim Bunning the legendary pitcher.

Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican, once told the story of when Mr. Bunning was pitching against the New York Yankees, a team that had as its first-base coach Bob Turley, who was highly skilled at stealing a catcher’s signs.

“Every time Jim would throw a fastball, Turley would whistle, and the batters knew what the pitch was,” the congressman explained. “Now the first batter up was Bobby Richardson, and Jim got him out. The second batter up was Tony Kubek, the shortstop. Jim got him out. The third batter stepped in, Mickey Mantle, and Jim walked over to the first-base coach, Turley, and he said, ‘If you whistle, I am going to hit him right in the back with a pitch.’

“Jim took the mound. He got his sign, and he was at the top of his windup when Turley whistled. Jim decided to cross everybody up. He threw a slider. It got away from him, and hit Mantle right in the back. Mantle headed toward the mound with his bat, but decided better of it and trotted down to first base.

“The next batter was Yogi Berra. Yogi stepped in, pounded the plate, looked at Jim Bunning and said, ‘Hey Jim, if Turley whistles, I ain’t listening.’”

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected].

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