Hillary's Back in the News
Junior League
Sell Your Spare Parts?
Poison Politics
New(t) Campaign Loophole
Kids Do the Darndest Things

Hillary's Back in the News
Latest White House Snow Job?

Barbara Bush: She— not Dad— is the key decision maker behind George W.
AP/Wide World
Barbara Bush: She— not Dad— is the key decision maker behind George W.

Sunday's announcement that First Lady and putative New York senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton would not be accompanying her husband on a trip to Central America because someone bumped her on a Utah ski slope, aggravating an old back injury, had all the earmarks of not-so-clever PR spin.

Nevertheless, some saw it as Hillary taking the first tentative steps toward distancing herself from Monica's "sexual soulmate" in anticipation of a jump into the hornets' nest of New York politics— where Hillary already is being pushed to join a group of activists who will commit civil disobedience, demanding the arrest of the cops involved in the Amadou Diallo killing.

This followed reports on Saturday that Chinese spies had penetrated U.S. security during the '80s and gotten away with designs for small nuclear missile warheads. Even though the alleged espionage occurred long before Clinton took office, conservatives, who have tried unsuccessfully to nail Clinton/Gore with campaign irregularities involving Chinese money, leapt on the issue.

On Monday, with the president touring Central America and Hillary home alone, the scandal machine got pumped up again with George Stephanopoulos's revelations in Newsweek that he had been on antidepressants to keep on an even keel during his time with the pair after Vince Foster's suicide.

If that weren't bad enough, the Clinton spinners had to keep their eyes trained on a worsening transatlantic spat between Linda Tripp and Monica in London, with Tripp accusing Lewinsky of being an outright liar. The fight threatens to air even more dirty laundry, since Tripp also claims there's another woman waiting to accuse Clinton of sexual assault.

Finally, the supermarket tabloid Star, citing FBI documents, reported that "Clinton made passes at several female White House Secret Service agents." The documents supposedly also report the allegations of the wife of a former top Clinton aide who says the president once pinned her to the wall, ignoring her protests, and ran his hands over her body.

Junior League
The Right Woman for George W.

If all goes as planned, George W. Bush will be backed by a female for veep— probably Elizabeth Dole. If not Dole, then another right-of-center woman, possibly Jennifer Dunn (who is a member of Bush's exploratory team, introduced in a wooden political pageant in Austin on Sunday). Not, however, Olympia Snowe— the only real class act in sight— who is seen as too liberal. Nor Christie Whitman, who, it is felt, would kick Junior's ass. The governor can't take criticism.

As for the ne'er-do-wells— like walkathon maniac Lamar Alexander, ex-POW John McCain, or the self-promoting JFK ripoff, John Kasich— they have little chance for the top GOP spot, and no veep appeal. Pat Buchanan, on his third time out, already looks like a goner. Then, of course, there's Dan Quayle, Bush Sr.'s old choice, still panting in the wings.

Key decision maker behind Junior is his mother, Barbara, on whose opinion, insiders say, G.W. depends. Not Dad, whom the party right-wingers always thought harbored Communist sympathies, and who was regarded as a wuss. It was Barbara Bush who advised Junior not to jump into the fray, but to wait till the party faithful came calling.

It was also Barbara Bush's "literacy campaign" that inspired George W.'s own education campaign as governor of Texas. "I've learned a lot from the honoree," he said of his mother at a recent event honoring her. "I learned to chew with my mouth closed. I learned to like my peas."

Once the scandal machine gets into gear, this is exactly the sort of protection Junior is going to need. After graduating from Yale, Junior went through a decade-long, self-described "nomadic" period of drinking and womanizing. He married in 1977 at age 31, and quit drinking nine years after that.

Writes Michael King in the Texas Observer: "On the stump, Dubya— a nickname in Texas— delights in sermonizing over the failures of his own sixties generation, which believed, Bush says, 'if it feels good, do it. But the Governor is uncomfortable with specific questions concerning his own past, responding only, 'When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible.' " That won't work in the "A" league.

King noted that when Bush told a reporter he was "embarrassed" for the country by the Clinton sex scandal, Lanny Davis, a former Clinton aide and Bush classmate at Yale, retorted, "I went to school with Governor George Bush, and he should watch the kind of sanctimonious statement that he just made about the President. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Sell Your Spare Parts?
Hey, It Might Help Cover Health Care

In an age when millions of people can't get health insurance or even come close to paying for expensive medical care, a brave new frontier of free-market medicine is on the horizon. If British ethicists have their way, you may soon be able to sell your body parts before you die. The stated reason would be to cut down the waiting lists of people needing life-saving transplants. But of course the practice would open up a whole new field— bounty hunting for kidneys, livers, eyes, hearts, etc.

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