Bigger Creeps

Clinton Seduced and Abandoned by the Right

Last week, a former close associate addressed the question directly. Interviewed on the BBC, Clinton's ex-press secretary, Mike McCurry, said he was concerned about the president's "incredibly bizarre personal behavior," adding, "It's surely reckless, contrary to the way you'd expect a rational human being to behave."

What if a president is unable to run the country?

The 25th Amendment, adopted after the Kennedy assassination, sets forth a procedure under which the vice president can take over. The amendment is best known for establishing protocols allowing the government to function during the transition from Spiro Agnew to Gerald Ford, and from Ford to Nelson Rockefeller. Under the amendment, if a president is removed, dies, or resigns, the vice president becomes president, or, in certain circumstances, acting president.

Byrd's eye view: The "conscience of the Senate" waits.
Byrd's eye view: The "conscience of the Senate" waits.

There also are procedures in the event of a president's "inability" to act, under which the vice president and cabinet members (or a group specified by Congress) can transmit to the Senate and the House "their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." The vice president then becomes acting president.

Confederacy With Dunces
Impeachment Leaders Addressed Racist Group

It can't help the impeachment lobby to discover that two of its most active proponents have flirted with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens, a successor group to the old White Citizens Council, which spread terror among African Americans during the civil rights movement.

News reports recently that both House Judiciary member Bob Barr and Senate majority leader Trent Lott have spoken at CCC gatherings resulted in both men hastily backing away from the group. Barr, after being criticized for addressing the Council's semiannual convention in Charleston, South Carolina, this summer, said he disagreed with many of its "ridiculous views."

Lott was the keynote speaker at a 1992 Council meeting in Greenwood, Mississippi, and told the group: "We need more meetings like this across the nation. . . . The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy." Later, Lott told The Washington Post that he had "no firsthand knowledge" about the Council and was not a member. When his office was told the Council claimed he was a paid-up member, a spokesman said Lott "doesn't consider himself a member and 'has no recollection' of ever paying dues."

The Council's newsletter, The Citizens Informer, regularly bashes blacks, Jews, and gays, and opposes AIDS research and nonwhite immigration.

Klanwatch, which tracks the racialist movement, claims that 10 percent of 175 Council members it surveyed have links to the Klan, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, and the neo-Nazi National Alliance.

New 'Desert Fox'
Original Had Better Military Strategy

Operation Desert Fox, which incredibly echoed Erwin Rommel's nickname, couldn't have come at a better time for the military contractors, who've been itching to do more business. Clinton had promised to increase defense spending by about $10 billion next year. The industry would like to jack that figure up to $15 billion.

The military used over 300 sea-launched cruise missiles, pretty much depleting that arsenal. The missiles, made by Hughes— most of which is now part of Raytheon— cost $1 million each. Other products, like Boeing's carrier-based F-18 fighters and Lockheed's F-117 Stealth fighter, also were featured in the attack.

Operations such as Desert Fox work like a big air show for the military contractors, giving them a chance to display their weaponry. Plus, with the whole thing featured live on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, it's free advertising.

Research: Bob Frederick

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