New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 9, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4 ■ Thursday. Feb 9,1994
■ To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21
Z e i t u n g
“Truth is the hardest substance in the norid to pin down. But the one certainly is anesone penalty exacted sooner or later a society whose reporters stop trying.”
I ii ll
- Flora Lewis journalist. 1988
Failing the test of truth
Possible appointment of Foster clouded by his, and Clinton’s, changing story
Choosing successful nominees for federal posts is not one of Bill Clinton’s great strengths.
In fact, choosing successful nominees for federal posts may be one of Bill Clinton's many great weaknesses, and his latest such choice — Dr. Henry Foster, whom Clinton would like to see become the next surgeon general — is an excellent example.
Foster, who has come under fire from anti-abortion groups and from Republican lawmakers, admitted on ABC television’s “Nightline” that he’d performed 39 abortions as a private physician and overseen 55 more as part of a research program.
That admission came after the White House, admittedly not a very reliable source of information during Clinton’s occupancy, initially had said Foster, a gynecologist for 38 years, had performed only one abortion. Foster later “corrected” that to say he had done “fewer than a dozen” abortion procedures.
No matter how you feel about the abortion issue, just the fact that Foster can't seem to settle on a story and stick with it should, it seems to us, disqualify him from holding an important and visible public office.
Of course, if we applied that test to the President himself, he'd be back in Arkansas looking for work.
(Today 's editorial was written by David Sullens, editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.)Write us
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Democrats, press waddle in denial
Let’s be clear about what is behind the condemnation of House Majority Leader Dick Armey and his “slip of the tongue” reference to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as “Barney Fag.” The uproar isn’t over offensive speech. It’s about diverting public attention from the Republican majority’s legislative mandate that will produce a revolution in government and restore power to the people.
That this was a political ploy, not the discovery of masked bigotry, was evident in the way things quickly unfolded after Armey misspoke. At first, the press, which carries around tape recorders like ideological Geiger counters that go into high gear when Republicans speak, ignored Armey’s slip. It was only later that some reporters decided that they had a “story.” These are the people who prefer O.J. Simpson to the substantive ideas of New t Gingrich (thankfully available unedited on C-Span), who interview an unsophisticated mother “between you and me,” and whose computer spell-checks ensure they’ll never be caught writing "potato” with an e.
Next, the usual liberal suspects contacted reporters (or was it the reverse?) to express outrage, pain and
disappointment. Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) said Republicans are “so enamored of the power of it, that they just go too far.” How soon she forgets what it was like when the former Democrat majority frequently went “too far” in silencing Republicans. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) joined a dozen other Democrats at a news conference to attack Armey.
The impure politics spewed forth when Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.), who is homosexual, spoke with Armey and then said that the Majority Leader does not have “a malicious bone in his body...Around here I think it is important that we focus on motive and intent. And I guarantee you, there are no malicious motives here.”
Frank said that he believed Armey when he said the word “fag” was not on the tip of his tongue, but that “this is a sign that it was in the back of his mind.” Surely this is the ultimate in thought-policing. Perhaps Frank should call for electrodes to be affixed to the heads of every member of Congress to monitor their thought processes so that when they think thoughts Frank doesn’t like, a red light will go off and we’ll all be alerted promptly.
Condemnation of offensive speech (and thought) is reserved only for certain classes that seem to have been awarded protection by the press. I frequently hear members of Congress say "Jesus Christ" and “goddamn,” which many Christians and Jews regard as blasphemous, hurtful and offensive. No press tribunal is convened to punish these offending blas
Condoms are distributed in schools. Evolution is taught as fact. Religion itself is viewed as so offensive to a small minority that the Supreme Court consistently bans religious speech and expression in public places, while allowing the American flag to be burned as a First Amendment right. These things pass with nary a whimper from the press corps.
It should not be forgotten that Barney Frank so offended the House by allowing a male prostitute to run his "business" out of Frank’s home that it formally censured Frank for his misconduct.
If Dick Armey had purposely slurred homosexuals on the House floor (or even in an on-the-record interview in which his intention to do so was clear), a case could be made for criticizing him. But he didn’t and, though no offense was intended, he apoh ogized convincingly.
As the Democrats continue to reveal they have run out of ideas and the Republicans set the agenda and direction for the country, we’re going to see more of this pettiness, inflamed by the Democrats’ ideological cohorts in the press.
This won’t help the Democrats. Neither will it help the press, whose credibility is in disrepair. The longer the press and most Democrats remain in denial concerning the message of the November election, the more irrelevant they become.
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist with Los Angeles Times Syndicate.) >
Clinton risk on ending strike not paying off
By TOM RAUM
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Usually presidents intervene in labor disputes on grounds of national security or national distress. President Clinton risked his prestige on behalf of the national pastime.
As of late T uesday night, the risk wasn’t paying off, as an extraordinary While House session among Clinton and representatives of players and owners failed to make any headway toward settling the strike, winch is now entering its seventh month.
lf it were a steel strike or a rail strike or an airline strike, Clinton would have no trouble getting results.
But he lacks the authority to act directly in this case And there seemed little enthusiasm in Congress for taking on the issue — even though in die end, Clinton had to choose the least preferable alternative of sending legislation to Congress to require binding arbitration.
"Ifs not a matter of national sur-AnalysisToday in historyBy The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Feb. 9, tile 40th day of 1995 There are 325 days left in tile year Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 9, 1943. the World War ll battle of Guadalcanal in (lie southwest Pacific ended with a U S victory over Japanese lorces, who were forced to evacuate.
On this dale:
In 1773, the ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, was born in Charles City County. Virginia In 1825, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received
vival,” House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., said earlier. “I’m not sure what the national interest is in having the Congress start lo micro-manage baseball "
Clinton took the extraordinary step of summoning both sides to the While House on Tuesday night after a federal mediator failed lo make any progress in settling the differences between ow ners and players.
“I had hoped that tonight I would be coming out to say that baseball was coming back in 1995," a drained and dejected Clinton said at a While House briefing. "The American people are the real losers."
Presidents have been intervening in tabor disputes for years — sometimes with dramauc effect, in stark contrast to Clinton’s disappointing effort.
President Truman in 1946 ended a rail strike almost overnight — by announcing he would draft into the
a majority of electoral votes.
In 1861, (fie Provisional Congress of die Confederate Stales ol America elected Jefferson Davis president and Alexander H Stephens vice president
In 1870, tile U S Weather Bureau was established.
In 1893, Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera, “Pal staff,” was first performed in Milan, Italy.
In 1942, the U S. Joint Chiefs of Staff field its first formal meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War ll.
In 1942, daylight saving "War Time” went into effect in the United States, with clocks turned one hour forward
military the striking workers and have the Army run the railroads.
Truman also seized the naUon’s coal mines in 1945 and the steel mills in 1952, citing national security.
President Reagan strong-armed an end to an air traffic controllers strike in 1981 by summarily firing and replacing the controllers.
President Nixon ordered dock workers back to work in 1972, and President Carter ended a soft coal strike in 1978 and a strike on the Rock Island Railroad in 1979.
President Bush acted to end a nationwide rail shutdown in 1991.
And Clinton used his execuUve powers last August to order sinking Soo Line Railroad employees back to work while federal mediators worked at resolving the dispute.
With the baseball strike, Clinton’s biggest weapon was the bully pulpit of the While House. But the dispute that has resisted settlement also seemed to be resisting Clinton’s powers of persuasion.
In 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, W Va, Sen Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis, charged tile Stale Department was riddled with Communists.
In 1962, an agreement was signed lo make Jamaica an independent nation within the British Commonwealth later in the year In 1964, ’Hie Beatles made their first live American television appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show.”
In 1971, the Apollo 14 spacecraft returned to Earth aller man’s third landing on the moon.
In 1984, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov died al age 69, less than 15 months aller succeeding Leonid Brezhnev, he was succeeded by Konstantin U. Chernenko. Ten years
Clinton aides were lamenting the lack of direct authority to act. But there is plenty of precedent for presidents “jawboning” both sides into an agreement without formal action.
In fact, it worked for Clinton in November 1993, when he managed ic end a five-day strike against American Airlines by flight attendants by getting both sides lo agree lo binding arbitration.
'Hiere’s even a precedent for inter vention in a baseball strike.
In 1981, Reagan directed Labor Sec relary Raymond Donovan and federa mediator Kenneth E. Moffett to ge involved in that year’s baseball strike Donovan moved the talks lo Wash ington briefly The intervention helpe< lead to a mid-season agreement tha ended the walkout after 50 days.
Tile big difference this lime: Clinloi got personally involved in the talk while Reagan kept his distance.
(Tom Raum covers the White Nous for The Assai luted Press.)
ago: In his Saturday radio address, President Reagan accused Congress of thwarting his administration’s efforts to run the government more economically.
Five years ago: T he Perrier Grot ot America Inc announced it was voluntarily recalling its inventory ol mineral water in the United Stales aller tests showed the presence of benzene in a small number of bottle
One year ago: PLO leader Yasse Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres initialed an agreemen on security measures that had been blocking implementation of a peace accord Hours before the ultimatum was issued, the Bosnian Serbs agree to withdraw their artillery