Drudge Report: "Clinton library to censor critics"
BuzzFlash: "Gephardt declares bipartisanship dead, welcome to reality, Dick"
AndrewSullivan.com: Why is Slate lampooning Dick Cheney's heart problems?
Jonah Goldberg: "The ethos and ethnicity of Fresh Fields."
Kausfiles:Joe Klein for Mayor of New York!
John Fund's Political Diary:"Schwarzenegger ends his campaign before it starts."
The case of the mole in the campaign of George W. Bush took another turn Tuesday when the FBI indicted Juanita Yvette Lozano, an aide for Bush's media firm Maverick Media, for sending preparation materials -- including a tape of Bush preparing for the debate -- to the Gore campaign. The New York Times reports Lozano has been charged with mail fraud, making false statements to the FBI and perjury before a grand jury -- and could face up to 15 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. Her former Maverick boss, Mark McKinnon, had previously worked for Democratic campaigns in Texas; plus, Lozano is a registered Democrat. Though a "low level employee" at Maverick, Lozano was also a babysitter for McKinnon's children. McKinnon had been a strong defender of Lozano when attention focused on her last fall, but Tuesday, McKinnon said he was "devastated" by the indictment.
Online, speculation on what else will be revealed in this political spy caper ran wild. One poster on Lucianne.com, tongue planted firmly in cheek writes: "Fools! This was a devious setup by Karl Rove who, using October Surprise Contra cocaine money laundered through Neil Bush's S&L, concocted a dark plot to smear Democrats with subliminal Willie Horton messages on the Texas Rangers stadium Jumbotron, broadcast from an illegal SR-71 AWACs bomber piloted by Shrub's Vietnam stunt double, flying over Area 51." On Plastic.com, posters were also intrigued. "We're all lucky that none of that sensivacious information was used by the Gore camp or they might have been able to mount a successful defense against Bush's verbal extrabations."
"As if Gore really needed the extra advantage of preparing for such rapier-sharp comebacks as 'fuzzy math,'" one person posted. "Heck, that's barely smarter than 'Nanny nanny boo boo' or 'So's your mother.'"
For a copy of the indictment, check out The Smoking Gun.
The Palmetto Journal, a South Carolina political tip sheet, is hot on a story Clinton-haters have been salivating over. "Initial reports yesterday in this space mentioned news reports that Senator Hillary Clinton pushed Senator Strom Thurmond in her eagerness to get to a camera following the President's speech last week. We pointed out that news reports in SC indicated Thurmond did not attend the speech." Still, the PJ hasn't given up hope that it's true. "Our attempts to confirm or deny the facts as presented in conflicting news reports will continue."
Whether or not Clinton is guilty of shoving Thurmond seems beside the point in the Free Republic forum: "Democrats are still evil even when they are innocent of the charges," wrote one poster.
And from the "Two wrongs make a right" school of political logic, lefty Salon letter writers were incensed at this column's portrayal of Democrats.com as "aggressively mean" for relishing a National Enquirer story about Jenna Bush's alleged drunkenness at a college party.
Tim Howe in Washington writes, "I find it quite amazing to call the postings on Democrats.com 'aggressively mean.' After years of hearing the opponents of President Clinton accuse him of being, let's see, a serial murderer, a rapist, an embezzler, one who has committed bank and mail fraud, an international drug dealer, a thief of government property, a man who bombed innocents for his own advantage, a bribe taker and just about everything else and seeing it enter the media mix, usually without question, it amazes me how just plain silly the elite media can be. Also after watching Dubya's minions attack John McCain for being 'unsound' because of his war experience and therefore 'untrustworthy' as a possible President, after running a Presidential campaign based generally on the creed that his opponent was a 'Liar'-- it makes me giggle to hear the self appointed media guardians of what is true, refer to him as -- oh so nice. Lordy how dopey. Hope I haven't hurt your feelings ..."
Salon reader Cynthia Pedersen adds, "There are many of us who intensely dislike Bush, his family and his agenda, and enjoy hearing our side speak out for a change. Rush spews hate and venom everyday and isn't labeled as 'aggressively mean' or 'rabid.' This is just more evidence of the incredible double standard that exists in the media today, Salon included."
The day's biggest story is the continued heart problems of Vice President Dick Cheney, who was rushed to the hospital Monday after suffering from chest pains and underwent a heart catheterization and angioplasty to reopen a narrowed artery. It's his second such trip in five months, and it has some medical professionals criticizing the White House for spinning Cheney's condition -- which it also did back in November.
On MSNBC.com, Arthur Caplan views Monday's hospital trip with alarm, writing: "The cardiologists with whom I have talked say people with Cheney's medical history have about a one in four chance of needing major heart surgery by May." Cheney has refused to open his medical records to the public, but Caplan thinks the taxpaying public has a right to see them, and makes a proposition: "An independent group of physicians should examine every candidate and file a public report on all those receiving federal funds for their campaigns. The examinations should include genetic testing for any disease that might impair the person's ability to carry out the duties of the presidency."
Online, speculations run wild. On Table Talk, cynicism rules in a post labeled "Whose running the show now that Cheney had another heart attack?" [Editor's note: Doctors say he didn't have a heart attack.] On Lucianne.com, readers are worried, and skeptical: "The doctors are just covering themselves. I have been in the medical field for many years and know they should have caught this the last time around." And on the staunchly pro-Bush Free Republic, posters reveal a rare insecurity in the new leader of the free republic. "This is very serious. If something happens to Cheney, then Boy George gets to run the country," writes DonQ. "GWBush is just a heartbeat away from the presidency!" responds dennisw.
Monica prepares for another close-up [New York Times, registration required]
The Times reports that "Ms. Lewinsky has agreed to fully participate in an HBO documentary about her affair with Mr. Clinton, and its effect on the nation." And, yes, she'll be opening her mouth for a fee, but for how much? Her well-lacquered lips are sealed. "Neither Ms. Lewinsky nor HBO would disclose how much she will be paid for being in the program." And, boy, does this all enrage the anti-Clinton vanguard. One person on Lucianne.com wrote in just to post a recent, unflattering photo of the New York bag designer, and readers on Free Republic can hardly contain themselves. (Favorite post: "Does anyone really believe this self-obsessed woman-child has anything illuminating to say about the most corrupt, most fraudulent, most outright criminal president in history?")
Jenna Bush's rocky debut [Bushwatch.com; see Jenna Bush photo halfway down]
The National Enquirer recently took aim at the supposedly "bubbly" Bush twin (reproduced in the above link by rabid W-haters Bushwatch.com) with a big picture of the new University of Texas freshman holding a cigarette and falling to the floor while embracing a friend. Of course, she could be drunk. She could also just be bubbly, a college freshman goofing off. But the Enquirer wants us (surprise!) to think the worst, dutifully warning in its headline: "Get ready America! Here comes George W.'s wild daughter!"
Jenna, 19, has recently gotten some pickup in the hometown Texas press, and is surely getting a behind-the-scenes scolding from twin Barbara (the "serious" one who attends Yale). Last weekend Secret Service agents picked up an 18-year-old college kid, who had been arrested for public intoxication, from a Texas jail after he told police that he was Jenna's boyfriend. And then, a photography service that shot photos at a frat party the same evening on the Texas campus apparently pulled a photo of Jenna from its Web site, where it sells photos to partygoers for a fee. The photo in question, according to students interviewed by the Dallas Morning News, also included William Bridges, the supposed boyfriend later bailed out by the Secret Service. (The aggressively mean Democrats.com has taken particular pleasure in the Jenna story, and also has a piece on the 22-year-old son of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, recently arrested on charges of drunken driving.)
Meanwhile, David Horowitz's anti-reparations ad is still fomenting fury. The conservative Salon columnist took out the ad (based on a previous column on why paying reparations to African-Americans would be wrong) in college newspapers, and caused such outrage that the editors of the Daily Californian, the UC-Berkeley student paper, quickly folded and apologized. Then, still licking their wounds, they apologized again. Editors at their sister school in Davis followed suit.
The Washington Post's Jonathan Yardley, however, finds Horowitz's ad "within the grounds of fair political debate," and says, "On the college campus it is more important to be politically (or multiculturally) correct than to be right." The editors at the University of Wisconsin's student paper refused to apologize for running the ad, and instead took a hard whack at their Berkeley peers: "At The Badger Herald, we only regret that the editors of The Daily Californian allowed themselves to give in to pressure in a manner that unfortunately violated their professional integrity and journalistic duty to protect speech with which they may disagree." (Ouch!)
Online, postings include a lively thread on Plastic.com. (Favorite: "I would hope that the protestors would accept the Daily Cal's apology and move over the Bay to Salon's offices.") But anyone who feels warmed by the brouhaha, reassured that First Amendment rights are the concern and that racism has been relegated to the history bin, need only click to the guttersnipes on NewsMax for proof that racists are still out there.