February 08, 1999
The witnesses are coming! In their opening arguments during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, the House managers seemed to convince a majority of senators to call witnesses to resolve disputed factual questions. The president's lawyers responded that witnesses are unnecessary because "you have before you all that you need" to conclude that there was no basis for the House to impeach the president or the Senate to convict him.
February 01, 1999
I love it when they talk dirty on c-span. Scanning the public service network Monday, one found mostly the usual highbrow fare. There was a segment on "Federal-Tribal Relations" and a "First Amendment Report Card." At night, c-span scheduled something called "Government Leaders." But this cagily titled segment was no Brookings forum. The sponsor: Larry Flynt. The topic: Republican adultery. Parental discretion: advised. OK, I confess.
January 11, 1999
It was a grand day for the Palestinians. And in the course of it I thought of a remark Maria Mohammedi made. Maria, director of the Arts and Crafts Village of the municipality of Gaza, and an Algerian married to a Palestinian, actually made the remark twice, because the first time it was drowned out by two green-and-white helicopters. Passing low overhead, they were ferrying Bill Clinton and Yasir Arafat from Gaza's newly opened international airport to Arafat's residence in the Rimal quarter of Gaza.
December 14, 1998
"You have no right or authority under the law, as independent counsel, to advocate for a particular position on the evidence before the Judiciary Committee," Sam Dash wrote to Kenneth Starr last week, announcing his decision to resign as Starr's $400-an-hour ethics adviser. But Dash's frantic attempt to save his tattered reputation after Starr's appearance before the House was several months too late.
December 13, 1998
A Trip to Stonesville
Arnold Relman on author Andrew Weil M.D. and alternative medicine
November 30, 1998
The Permanent Insurrection
David Grann on Bob Livingston's unruly inheritance.
John Judis on Gingrich's fatal misreading of the past.
"It is either impeachment or nothing," Gary McDowell, the conservative legal scholar, told the House Judiciary Committee on November 9. "Thus, the current suggestion that Congress might censure the president is to assume a power not given by our Constitution." Many of the scholars who testified during the opening hearing of the House impeachment inquiry agreed with McDowell, but they were overstating the case against censure.
The DNA test proving that Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one child with his slave Sally Hemings was good news for the Jefferson-Hemings descendants, for a brave and stubborn lawyer-historian, and for the United States. It was bad news for some conservative pundits. And it was gratifying news for me. More than a year and a half ago, I wrote in these pages that the existing evidence made it "difficult to avoid thinking in terms of the probability, and not merely the possibility, of a Jefferson-Hemings liaison" (see "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Thomas Jefferson," March 10, 1997).
October 19, 1998
How Olathe became the center of a revolution in Kansas politics.