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Integrity v The United States of America

Posted by Bob · May 6th, 2004 · 40 Comments

On May 6, 1994, a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed. This in itself was not remarkable.

The Plaintiff herself was not remarkable, not in comparison to the Defendant:The President of the United States

This article is not about the reputation of Bill Clinton or the legacy of his administration. It’s about the one sole woman who decided that something wrong had been done and it should be rectified.

In a 2000 appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Jones said she was never out to hurt Clinton, but to prove that her allegations against him were true “because it did hurt me.”

Not only was this woman subjected to sexual harassment, she was going to have to prove it against arguably the most powerful man in the world. On the surface it appeared to me to be a smear being orchestrated by the Republicans. But this woman maintained her testimony throughout accusations by Clinton supporters and media commentators. She held her ground through delaying tactics and eventually before the United States Supreme Court.

A lawyer who represented Jones through much of her lawsuit against Clinton said she helped reinforce a defining legal principle of the American justice system when she won a Supreme Court decision that she could pursue her suit while Clinton was in office.

“What the unanimous Supreme Court decision has underscored is that we are all equal before the bar of justice,” Washington lawyer Joseph Cammarata said. “You have a woman, a mother, who sues a sitting president and the Supreme Court says that she’s just as important as the president of the United States as far as her access to justice.”

In the ensuing depositions, Clinton’s enemies sniffed additional instances of his behavior and eventually Monica Lewinsky took the headlines once the sole possession of Paula Jones. During the Lewinsky media frenzy and the Special Prosecutor’s grandstanding it was generally under-reported that Paula Jones had her suit thrown out of Federal Court.

Even in spite of that, she kept on fighting.

“I don’t regret it,” she said. “It has opened up … something big for women in the workplace, about sexual harassment, so I don’t have any regrets about it.”

So how does she feel about her intimate involvement in the impeachment of a president?

[T]hat’s Bill Clinton’s problem

The Senate impeachment trial began January 7, 1999, and the Senate voted to acquit the president February 12. Clinton told the nation he was “profoundly” sorry for his actions.

Clinton later settled out of court with Jones for $850,000. Part of the agreement was that no admission of guilt or apology was required. Clinton apologized to the nation but not to Paula Jones herself.

Jones has occasionally popped up on the media radar; lastly, to my knowledge, in a boxing ring versus Tonya Harding.

In my opinion, this is a national shame. Jones was literally the “Mouse That Roared”. She spoke the truth against a seemingly unbeatable enemy and prevailed. It was not her intention to do more than bring Clinton to justice for actions against her with no visible political agenda, at least to my knowledge. I have not seen her support a candidate of any kind since slipping from the public eye.

And I know that since her settlement she has had a nose job. I wonder how much of this was a desire to fix what she deemed a cosmetic flaw and how much was an unconscious need to change, to become someone else, to hide from the news and the noise?

Even with all the history made from her humble suit ten years ago, if she wants to slip from the public eye I say she deserves it. She upheld the Constitution like few Americans ever will under the most dramatic and trying circumstances.

Imagine a movie where the housewife / mother type challenges the President and wins. It wouldn’t sell, it’s too far fetched.

But that is exactly what is part of our history.

Only in America ……..

Categories: Politics-In-General


40 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 7:11 am

    I remember the Paula Jones case well. It is well documented in several places that her own GOP-funded attorneys didn’t believe her story (for good reason, because it wasn’t true). Jones and her then-husband were both unemployed when she got plastic surgery on her nose and a brand-new Mercedes-Benz convertible. This was before the case settled, by the way, but after she had been paid off by the people who used her for a political smear that they knew at the time was not true. She read the script she was given. She got paid.

    Many books have been written about the many schemes to pay people (such as former Arkansas State Troopers) to lie about the Clintons. The best read, in my opinion, is “Blinded by the Right,” by former Republican crony David Brock. Brock details, among other things, how he was expected to lie about the Clintons and not let silly things like facts get in his way. When he finally decided to play it straight and write about what he actually found in his research, his Republican backers were (and still are) furious.

    I like what James Carville said when the Jones story first broke. “Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park,” he quipped, “and there’s no telling WHAT you’ll turn up!”

  • 2 Rick // May 6, 2004 at 7:40 am

    I can’t help by think of this post as a sop to our cantankerous guests of the last week or so.

    Be that as it may, the issues are what the issues are. And I address those here.

    First, though, a word from our sponsor:

    Oh…uh, that would be me. I just want to be on the record as stating that I don’t agree with the points Bob’s post tries to make. However, there were (at least) two reasons I posted it anyway. One is that I asked Bob to help fill in gaps for me when I’m too busy to post, in order to keep new ideas flowing into the blog for people to discuss. It seems to me a little bit unfair to censor every idea that I don’t agree with, because I really believe what I said yesterday. So the second reason is that although the law of the First Amendment does not apply to me, I choose to do my best to adhere to the spirit of it.

    Besides that, Bob — and no doubt many others — believe things to be the way he’s stated them in this post. I just happen to disagree.

    And here’s why:

    First, Bob notes that Ms. Jones “challenge[d] the President and [won].” Unless “challenging” here has the same meaning that it had when Nat challenged everyone over the last week, she did not “challenge” the President. (That’s not meant to dredge up old arguments about or by Nat; stick with me a second.)

    Jones made a claim. Now, in some sense, I suppose, every claim someone makes against someone else is a challenge. But Jones’ claim does not appear to be grounded in reality.

    How can I say this? Bob notes the reason himself. After Jones’ suit was allowed to proceed, it was tossed on the merits. The court said it was tossed because she was unable to provide evidence that it actually happened. You (that’s any “you,” not some specific “you,” like Bob) can argue that this is unfair. It boiled down to a he-said/she-said and you might think that’s good enough. Let’s not forget that there are large numbers of people released from jail for having been wrongly convicted. Many of them on he-said/she-said, he-said, or they-said testimony and nothing more. And who can forget about all the famous convictions of supposedly large rings of “Satanic-ritual child molesters” where the only testimony was coerced from children by investigators?

    Jones did not “win.” She had her suit tossed; she lost.

    Well, what about the $850,000 settlement? Surely that shows she was right if he was willing to settle.

    But again, on a daily basis, people enter into legal agreements for a variety of reasons that don’t necessarily have to do with guilt. Sometimes, the reason is that they just want to silence something before it gets out. There are people, in fact, who file claims for no other reason than to collect money from folks they know will be too embarrassed, or who have too much to lose, to fight them. Prosecutors themselves depend upon this sometimes and will frequently make deals to accept a “no contest” plea, rather than fight for a guilty plea. Technically, a “no contest” plea is treated the same as a guilty plea. But very often, the consequences for such a plea are somewhat less for the accused than if they actually had been adjudged “guilty.” I know innocent people who have “copped” to such a plea. Other times, people make these settlements to try to finally put an end to harassment.

    And who could say that this isn’t the case for Bill Clinton? Frankly, I don’t know. I wasn’t there either at the time of the purported actions between Jones and Clinton, or in the court room when the sides were battling it out with the result that the lawsuit was tossed out of court. That it was tossed out of court seems significant to me.

    Jones herself had repeatedly stated that she didn’t care about money or anything else; she just wanted to prove she was wronged. She wanted the President to apologize, as I recall. But in the end, she took a pretty good chunk of money; she did not receive the apology she insisted she was after and that she must have.

    Clinton didn’t win, either. Nor did the American people. The Presidency was dragged through the mud on charges that were never proven. Lots of other stuff was dredged up.

    Bob notes that “Clinton’s enemies sniffed additional instances of his behavior.” I hope he doesn’t mean to imply by this that there is some relationship between Jones and Lewinsky. If I were accused of something and someone later found out that I occasionally mow my back lawn, that would be an “additional instance of my behavior” — everything I do is behavior. It doesn’t mean there’s a connection. And one must remember that Lewinsky not only appears to have been a willing participant in her activities with Clinton, she appears to have actually pursued them and to have fought to keep them secret even as Ken Starr dogged her and pried into her personal life (even going so far as to move to force bookstores to turn over records of the books she read).

    Clinton also lost — as I know someone will jump to point out — his right to practice law in Arkansas. Why? Because he lied. He lied! The liar! It taints everything he ever did. There’s been a lot said about that here over the last few days.

    And what did he lie about? The War in Iraq? Weapons of Mass Destruction? The Names of People Who Wrote the Nation’s Energy Policy? That The Claims of Numerous People (Soon to Include Colin Powell, Apparently) About a President’s Acts?

    No. He lied about “having sex with that woman.”

    No one else in the entire world would have done this! Only Bill Clinton! Impeach him! IMPEACH HIM! Destroy his legacy! Nothing must survive! And, of course, remember to bring this up every time someone tries to substantively discuss the wrongs of future sitting Presidents who are involved in much more grievous things, as long as they are Republicans.

    No one else in the entire world would lie about having sex outside of their marriage. Heck, I doubt anyone in the world would have sex outside their marriage. Just Bill Clinton.

    For now, I leave you with three thoughts, all of which I’ve expressed before:

  • Semen-stained dresses — whereever they are — are better than blood-stained uniforms. And we don’t know where they are, either, because half the time, we’re forbidden to see them. Heck, some Republicans don’t even want us to hear the names of the people who once wore them.
  • A President who screws an intern is not worse than a President who screws the entire country.
  • There are serious issues facing our country today that vastly overwhelm the issue of whether as past President lied to cover up sexual activity, and the potential embarrassment to himself and his family.
  • How nice it would be to actually discuss some of them. How nice it would be to consider them seriously, without all the name-calling, without all the shifting to past peccadilloes, without the evasiveness and blindness of the electorate that is even more dangerous to our country — if that’s possible — than what the current administration is (or isn’t) doing.

  • 3 Nick Meyer // May 6, 2004 at 8:38 am

    WOW. Bob’s post did make for interesting reading and thought process but I must agree with Rick (to a point) that these are not the issues on the table at this point in time and we all must stay focused on the here and now.The only thing I have to say about the past administration is the intgrity of the office of the President was admittedley( by clinton himself) breached. Last note on this subject, to pay $850,000. to basically get rid of a thorn in the side to me is ridiculous. There was something there to hide!! Do you think sweet Hilary would have allowed that kind of money to leave if there was’nt? Reality, my freinds is a rude awakening. Rick, as a side note you mentioned the coerced testimony from children, I know John Stoll personally and all along his story has never changed. thank GOD someone finally looked at the facts and made a decision based on said facts. Today he is a free man out from under the umbrella of being labeled a “child molestor,” although 20 years of his life are gone. Reminds me of the McMartin preschool scare in Manhattan Beach where generations of a family were permanently destroyed by an overeager prosecutor who was not interested in the facts. That is all.

  • 4 Bob // May 6, 2004 at 8:41 am

    Did I mention that I always wanted to play in the National Football League? Yup, I wanted to be a tight end but I just wasn’t big enough. I just would have been a six foot, 225 pound pull toy.

    Why is this releveant my good reader? Because the NFL has this really cool thing called “Instant Replay”. That’s where you get to see the play in slow motion and, perhaps, see the truth.

    Upon further review…

    My quick research for this article was from a number of ‘anniversary’ articles being posted on the web. These all referred to the ten year anniversary of not a landmark case, but certainly a case that had landmark echoes for the Clinton administration and the country.

    Mark’s comment (quickly followed by Rick’s) gave the that sense of forboding you get when you’re all alone in the house and you start hearing scary music being played down the hall.

    Upon MY further review, I have found that, had I gone deeper in research, I would not have said what I said.

    I did not recall that Clinton offered her $700,000 to drop the case but she insisted on going forward. Again, it’s her choice to either continue the fight or settle.

    In June 1997, Clinton offered a $700,000 settlement payment to charity, but Jones said she also wanted an apology

    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/pjones/pjones.htm

    I did not recall the courts telling Ms. Jones that her case was shaky and had little chance of winning.

    According to minutes of a closed hearing held on Jan. 12, Judge Wright said that she did not think Jones would win her case if it went to trial. Wright indicated that she wanted to talk Jones into accepting a “reasonable offer.”

    “It it goes to trial, everyone loses,” Wright said. “The court would like to talk to her and tell her that she should accept a reasonable offer, that she could have a difficult time winning her case.”

    Source: http://www.courttv.com/archive/casefiles/jones/

    I did not recall that she later posed for Playboy and Penthouse. Honestly, those were not my readings of choice in those days. But I don’t hold that against her. It’s her right and her decision to take ‘fame’ and do with it what she will.

    (I’ll quote sources but I won’t get you pictures, you’ll have to find your own :o)

    None of this really swayed my opinion as much as this article by conservative columnist Anne Coulter.

    Source: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/ac20001031.shtml

    So Paula Jones has decided to pose for nudie pictures. I, for one, am deeply, pathetically despondent over it. I really did think, when I was spending weekends and evenings working on her behalf, that I was not only trying to expose a lying, felonious creep, but also was defending the honor of a good, sweet, innocent — if somewhat naive — girl.

    I’m fairly confident that President Clinton’s legacy is secure; it’s Paula’s that shot. This will cause no one to doubt Paula’s credibility, but it does put a new spin on the kind of girl she is.

    Of the three “elves” who worked on Paula’s case secretly and entirely pro bono, I’m the only one ever who talked to her, and talked to her for hours and hours in order to help draft her responses to interrogatories. I completely believed she was the good Christian girl she made herself out to be in the press. I was doing this not just to expose Clinton, but for her.

    Paula was my Rosa Parks. Here was this totally powerless nothing — no money, no status, no family connections, no Ivy League education, no important friends, no fabulous great looks, no worldly accomplishments. Just a nobody who had dignity and self-respect taking on the most powerful man in the universe.

    That’s how I felt reading the anniversary articles. See, I’m not alone. But this started turning into a bad dream here:

    Not only that, but she insisted money was not the point, telling Donaldson (among others): “(I)f there’s any money whatsoever left over after the legal expenses are paid, that will go to a charity.”

    So I don’t know. It’s crazy, but, along with a lot of people, her lawyers might well have misunderstood the fact that she doesn’t give a damn about her reputation and just wanted the money. That’s what she’s recently taken to the airwaves to proclaim, anyway.

    And just in case I was REALLY dreaming:

    Throughout the Clinton sex saga, everyone kept saying, “There are no heroes in this story,” which was completely wrong — if Paula had been what she claimed to be. She used to be a hero in a David and Goliath conflict. She used to have dignity and nobility and tremendous courage. Now she’s just the trailer-park trash they said she was.

    You see, I WANTED to believe, after all this Clinton / Anti Clinton banter, that someone HAD come out of that era that we could be proud of. In my rush to judgement, lack of research and silly belief in my fellow man, I rushed this article out.

    So here’ the part you’ve all been waiting for:

    I hereby impeach my own article. I am also guilty of abusing my First Amendment right by publishing incomplete thought versus quality free speech.

    I throw myself on the mercy of the Blog, hoping that ‘mulligans’ are allowed. It was a case of the fingers engaging to type before the brain could think. And I don’t think I am the first to be accused of this. (I won’t cite sources here, just take my word)

    I will accept the punishment of the Blog like a man, not a pull toy. Bring it on.

    But my most sincere apology is wasting your time reading my incomplete words that were posted honestly and filled with hope that SOMEONE came out of that era with integrity.

    If you find them, please pass their names to me so I can do my research. I promise, this time I will !

  • 5 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 8:54 am


    As you are probably aware, the money Clinton gave Paula Jones to go away was raised from friends. Giving away other people’s money is pretty easy, just like spending the Republican money she was paid was easy for Paula to do!

    Does it make you suspicious when people act as if they have something to hide? What is Disney afraid we’ll see in the Michael Moore film they don’t want distributed? What is Dick Cheney afraid we’ll find out in the minutes of his energy task force meetings? Why did Shrub’s administration fight tooth and nail to prevent the 9/11 Commission from being formed, and then resist having its staff and its supposed leader testify? I’m not trying to goad you, Nick. Seriously, now. If Clinton paying other people’s money to get a lying piece of trailer trash to go away makes you suspicous, Shrub and his buddies must make you absolutely nuts with what Republican John Dean says is the most secretive White House administration in our history. What do you think they’re afraid we’ll learn?

  • 6 Lisa // May 6, 2004 at 8:56 am

    Just out of curiosity… How did a blog post about Paula Jones and the effect that it had on the presidency turn into a discussion about the glories of the Clinton administration and how much better it was than the current administration? 🙂

    I appreciate the fact that Bob’s post was allowed… and I agree with him. I think Paula Jones DID win. Yes, people routinely pay money in settlement in order to have an issue resolved rather than have to deal with fighting it out in court… but they generally do NOT pay just short of a Million dollars when there is no basis for the claim. It just doesn’t happen. Generally.

    Also, the fact that a case gets thrown out of federal court does not mean that there was no merit to the claim. It could mean that. But it could also mean that the complaint was not properly worded or that some procedural error created a flaw that the court would not allow the plaintiff to remedy. Yes, it could be a lack of foundation for the lawsuit, but it could also be any one of numerous other reasons, many of which are totally unrelated to the merits of the underlying claim. There are many lawsuits that boil down to nothing more than a he said-she said, and those are not thrown out summarily by the court. Even if the only evidence was Paula’s own testimony, that is still evidence and she is still a witness, so the issue then becomes her credibility and that is an area within the province of the jury, not the judge deciding pre-trial issues.

    Rick, you make some excellent points, but I stand by my assertion that an $850,000 settlement does not usually indicate a meritless claim (especially when the settlement is paid AFTER the federal court threw out the suit…) and I believe that you’ve gone astray from the subject of Bob’s original post… a post about the ability of the common citizen to successfully challenge the most politically powerful position in the United States. I had not really considered it in that light, before, and it’s an interesting position… why muddy it up by bringing in a discussion of the current administration versus the Clinton administration?


  • 7 Lisa // May 6, 2004 at 9:11 am

    The posts after Rick’s and before mine were all posted as I was writing mine so I did not see them until I’d posted… but even all of that having been said, and Bob’s “admission” that he did not delve deeply enough into the discouraging parts of the story, I still like the post and I still believe that Jones’ story stands for the David and Goliath principle… after all, even trailer trash that bares all for anyone willing to pay the price of the magazine containing the photos has the right to NOT be sexually harassed and has the right to bring a lawsuit.

    So she may not have been the good little girl we may have believed… but even bad girls have the right to say “no,” nu?


  • 8 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 9:24 am


    Paula Jones was never sexually harrassed. The practically breathless bragging she did to friends hours after meeting Bill Clinton contained no accusations of anything happening that she was not eager to have happen. In federal evidence, this is called a Present Sense Impression. In California, it’s referred to as a Contemporaneous Statement. The concept is that what a person says during or immediately after an incident is probably pretty reliable, since they haven’t had time to make up a different story.

    What do you think is more reliable, Lisa? The breathless accounts Paula Jones gave others immediately after meeting Bill Clinton? Or the script she was given years later by people who would pay anyone they could find to lie about Clinton?

    It’s no surprise the case was thrown out on its merits. Attorneys routinely make motions to judges saying the other side has no case and to proceed further would only waste the court’s time. In this matter, the judge obviously agreed that Jones had absolutely no basis for her claims that could be considered to have even an ounce of credibility — and the case was too frivilous to even make it to a jury.

    There are plenty of heroes in America. Paula Jones is not one of them.

  • 9 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 10:06 am


    I just checked your email address. Now I know who you are. I wasn’t trying to give you a lecture on the law, and I’m sorry if it came across that way. I know that you know the law on evidence at least as well as I do.

    At the same time, my points may help others understand why the whole thing about Paula Jones is so ludicrous.

  • 10 Lisa // May 6, 2004 at 10:16 am

    Mark – I did not take offense. Really. And quite frankly, after last night’s exam I am not sure I know anything at all about evidence anymore. 🙂

  • 11 nick meyer // May 6, 2004 at 10:37 am

    Lisa is exactly right that even though Bob clarified he did not do his research the fact remains that Ms. Jones was wronged and was’nt afraid to vocalize her distraught. I still can’t get over the fact that $850,000. was given to her. No matter Rick where it came from it was $850,000. of hush money. Nat, Where are you today?

  • 12 Bob // May 6, 2004 at 11:38 am

    I am somewhat surprised at the readership of this board. I did not think that Paula Jones would entertain so much opinion and the previous posting about the FCC, and it’s sliding definition of ‘decency’, would get so little.

    I am still not clear as to why Oprah can get away with what Howard Stern cannot. And let me just declare myself right now as NOT a Howard Stern fan.

    So, in the battle between Paula Jones and Oprah, Paula gets the gold medal?

    Maybe we should have Oprah fight Tonya Harding for the Silver?

    Now, honestly, how many of you would pay to see that? THAT would challenge the definition of ‘indecency’, wouldn’t it?

  • 13 Rick // May 6, 2004 at 12:21 pm

    One of the things I’m fond of doing — I don’t think it’s often noticed — is backing up what I say with links scattered throughout my comments at the appropriate places. They serve much the same purpose as footnotes in scholarly research, although I don’t pretend that blog writing is scholarly research.

    It’s true that cases get thrown out of federal courts at times even when they have merit. Statute of Limitations issues come quickly to mind; a case can be perfectly legitimate on its facts and legal claims, but get tossed because the plaintiff (or state) waited too long to press the issue. I can even imagine that a failure to state a claim upon which relief might be granted (FRCP 12(b)(6)) could possibly result even though a case shows that “something wrong” happened; it could be immoral or inappropriate or even illegal for what was done to have been done, but the plaintiff (or state) simply didn’t state the claim properly.

    That does not appear to have been the case here. I linked the story that noted that the court indicated that the case was tossed due to the fact that there was no evidence to support the claims. It had been clear before it was tossed that this was a concern and no move was made to amend the complaint or otherwise fix the case so that it could move forward. This case was so weak that even though the standard of review assumed the allegations to be true the legal claims she was making failed. (And on the uncontradicted testimony, there is reason to believe the facts that did not get to go to a jury were not true.)

    As near as anyone can tell, Jones was in it for money. Maybe she wasn’t, but it looks like she was. And, hey, let’s face it — when did Ann Coulter become a friend of liberals, let alone Clinton? Everything seems to point to the idea that Jones wouldn’t have had fifteen seconds of fame if it weren’t for people who hated (and hate) Bill Clinton so much that irrationality blinded them to common sense (and reality).

    Bad girls do have a right to say “no,” but before they can say “no” someone has to present them with a question.

    As far as settlements, as has been noted by numerous commentators in the past, Clinton was trying to be President. And while he was busy trying to be President, actually sending missiles after bin Laden (and being accused of playing “Wag the Dog” because of it), and helping make peace around the world (successfully, it seems, in the UK; unsuccessfully in Israel — as I recall, someone he was working with, some national leader, was killed while they were trying to bring this peace about), he was constantly under attack from neo-conservatives who could not abide a man who would undo everything they’ve worked tirelessly to achieve in the Middle East and throughout the world. (If Michael Moore and Miramax ever get past Disney’s blockade, we might actually hear about it.) In his shoes, I don’t find it hard to believe that I would pay what was needed to settle with Ms. Jones, particularly after the court ruled that a sitting President could, in fact, be completely sidetracked, if necessary, from his job of running the country in order to defend a meritless suit.

    As to challenging Bob’s point about “a common citizen” successfully challenging “the most politically powerful position in the United States,” I’ve already addressed that. But, here — I’ll say it again: She didn’t successfully challenge him. She did bring an apparently meritless claim, which was thrown out of court, and disrupted a sitting President, possibly preventing him from being even more successful than he was.

    And if the wonderful thing that comes out of this is that we get to believe that a common citizen can disrupt the administration of our government by concocting stories to bring them fame and fortune, then I think we’re in sad shape as a country.

    This isn’t like running a hamburger joint. It’s a very large nation with a great deal of power. The position has large responsibilities. I wouldn’t support disrupting Bush’s Presidency on the grounds that he was allegedly involved in disreputable activities before he was President. I would not support hounding President Bush for conduct that has nothing to do with his current political position. I do not understand why anyone thinks it’s a great accomplishment that “common citizens” were able to do this with apparently false accusations when it came to President Clinton.

    Finally, one who was seriously concerned about this — particularly one who will understand the legal concepts regarding the scope of information that can count as “evidence” in a grand jury, but not in a courtroom, who can understand that accused persons do not have to provide accusers the rope with which to hang them, even if it they do possess it (and the claim is that Clinton didn’t) and who would understand the meaning of relying upon one’s constitutional rights (and that this is a legitimate thing to do) — might like to read the “Preliminary Memorandum Concerning Referral of Office of Independent Counsel,” particularly section III, “The President’s Testimony About Ms. Lewinsky,” which concerns the Paula Jones case.

    This may be hard to believe, but it will take longer to read than one of my blog comments, even this one.

    Having read it (and perhaps other related materials), those who wish to discuss the wonders of nearly bringing down a Presidency based upon lies, leaks and losing arguments will be able to speak without having to speculate on alternate realities.

    Lastly, this post isn’t supposed to sound mean-spirited. It’s not supposed to be insulting. It is strident. It is also the product of some exasperation. I find it amazing that so much has been made of these issues by people — not limited to those here in this venue — who have not done the background research, but rely, instead, upon the clever marketing machine that so many of us are following to our perpetual detriment.

  • 14 Bob // May 6, 2004 at 2:20 pm

    Just to be clear: I think it’s remarkable that a common citizen can bring a sitting leader to court over an alleged wrong. I like that ideal in our Constitution and that no one, regardless of position, is above the law.

    I am not commenting on the politics or the motivations of Clinton’s situation, just that it takes a remarkable nation to allow that to happen. There are too many nations where it could never happen or even cost the life of the accuser.

    It also takes a remarkable nation to allow the freedom of speech witnessed on this very blog.

    That being said, I will also say the I feel something in common with Clinton since the article was posted, I wish I had never heard of Paula Jones either. :)~

  • 15 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 2:23 pm


    As I’m sure you are aware, Paula Jones got but a fraction of the $850,000. The first thing off the top would be reimbursing the Republicans who fronted expenses. I’m guessing out-of-pocket expenses here could have run as high as $100,000 (it takes a lot to try to make a case out of a lie). Then the attorneys themselves would have gotten at least 40% of the $850,000 — or $340,000. That would have left liar Paula with $410,000 on a good day. She’ll need the money, since she will probably never have a job again. Would you hire someone who was that dishonest?

  • 16 Bob // May 6, 2004 at 2:27 pm

    For Mark:

    Paula Jones’ lawyers get lion’s share of $850,000 settlement
    March 5, 1999
    Web posted at: 4:19 a.m. EST (0919 GMT)

    LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AllPolitics, March 5) — The bulk of the $850,000 settlement in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment case against President Clinton will go toward attorneys’ fees, while Jones will collect $200,000, according to one of the attorneys.

    The money was paid in November but held up by the courts when Jones’ former and current lawyers could not agree on how it should be split up.

    The agreement was noted but not detailed in an order entered in federal court Thursday. The Rutherford Institute, which assisted Jones in her lawsuit, will also collect a share of the settlement.

    Lawyer Joseph Cammarata said that he and fellow attorney Gilbert Davis would get $350,000. They represented Jones in the earlier stages of the case.

    Cammarata said he was satisfied with the agreement, which promises them money from future earnings Jones expects to make.

    The Dallas law firm of Rader, Campbell, Fisher & Pyke will get $283,000. That firm took the case after Cammarata and Davis withdrew from the case. The Rutherford Institute is to get $100,000, Cammarata said.

    In her lawsuit, Mrs. Jones claimed that Clinton, when he was governor of Arkansas, made a crude advance in a room at a Little Rock hotel in 1991. Clinton denies the accusation.

    The case was dismissed in April. While that dismissal was on appeal, Clinton and Mrs. Jones settled.

    Still to be resolved in the Jones-Clinton case is whether the judge will cite Clinton for contempt of court because of his conflicting testimony about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

    After former and current lawyers began to argue over who would get how much, the judge ordered the check held by the court until the dispute was resolved.

    Source: http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/05/jones.fees/

  • 17 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 2:39 pm


    You were looking for some honorable people in this mess? You found them! The plaintiff’s attorneys! These guys seriously violated legal ethics (and in California, at least, it would have been violating the law) by persuing a claim they knew good and well was bogus. That being said, plaintiff’s attorneys are typically true heroes — defenders of truth, justice, and the American way! So Jones’s attorneys in this mess can’t be ALL bad.

  • 18 Lisa // May 6, 2004 at 4:25 pm

    See…. this is why I usually read here silently.. without comment.. because when I do post comments they are not read in their entirety and those who may oppose what I have said look only to what makes their case stronger and they ignore the rest of it. That having been said, and since I did open my mouth, there are really only two issues about which I will comment:

    Rick said:

    “In his shoes, I don’t find it hard to believe that I would pay what was needed to settle with Ms. Jones, particularly after the court ruled that a sitting President could, in fact, be completely sidetracked, if necessary, from his job of running the country in order to defend a meritless suit.”

    First – as one with a little bit of experience working on the defense side of the fence (only 14 years, but it’s enough to gain perspective), the actual defendants in a case have very LITTLE to do with actually defending their cases. They’ll have a meeting here or there, but until it is time for a deposition or trial, the attorneys do it all. The clients are called upon to convey information but beyond that their personal assistance is not required all that often. So to presume that he paid $850,000 simply to avoid being “sidetracked” from his job is assuming that he would have been actively involved in defending his suit. Probably not the case. As for the merits of the case – the dismissal was appealed and trial courts do make mistakes, so the fact that a judge at the district court level did not think there was enough evidence does not necessarily make it so. As you know, that is the very reason there is an appeals process.

    and, Rick also said:

    “As to challenging Bob’s point about “a common citizen” successfully challenging “the most politically powerful position in the United States,” I’ve already addressed that. But, here ? I’ll say it again: She didn’t successfully challenge him. She did bring an apparently meritless claim, which was thrown out of court, and disrupted a sitting President, possibly preventing him from being even more successful than he was.”

    Whether she won or lost in court/trial – she DID in fact challenge him. She filed the lawsuit and he paid money to make it go away. In court, when one party obtains a more favorable judgment than the other, they are called the prevailing party. Paula got $850,000 (okay – she netted $200K). Clinton paid it. I would say she was the prevailing party.

    As such, she successfully challenged him.

    Whether or not you believe her case had merit and whether or not you believe that a normal citizen should be able to sue the president of the United States, the fact remains that she did and she was successful in her efforts.

    Rick said “I linked the story that noted that the court indicated that the case was tossed due to the fact that there was no evidence to support the claims.”

    I have not read the story. I know you’ll not be surprised when I say, as I have said before, that not all of us have the luxury of having time to follow each and every link and read each source you provide. I wish I do but I don’t. But articles are generally written in simple enough terms to allow a general readership to comprehend them. The fact that the story said there is no evidence to support the claims may not mean there is NO evidence. It’s an interpretation. A 12(b)(6) motion can be brought on several grounds but the most common are failure to properly plead the case (for instance a government cannot generally be sued unless there is a statute allowing the type of suit filed and if you sue the government without mentioning the statute in your complaint, a 12(b)(6) motion can be brought.

    Do you really believe there was NO evidence? There was, if nothing else, Paula Jones’ OWN testimony. She IS a witness. Her testimony IS evidence. And whether she is credible and to be believed is an issue that is placed before the trier of fact, not an issue that is decided at the beginning of the case by the judge. Now if the evidence is not properly presented to the court, the court CAN make a finding that there is no evidence to support the claim – but that only means the evidence was not brought properly before the court – not that it does not exist.

    So, again, the fact that a case was dismissed says NOTHING about its underlying merits… but a payment of $850,000 says a hell of a lot.

    In short, Bob clarified his position – he said “I think it’s remarkable that a common citizen can bring a sitting leader to court over an alleged wrong. I like that ideal in our Constitution and that no one, regardless of position, is above the law.”

    THAT is what I agree with. I could care less about Clinton or Jones… the ideals that allowed the lawsuit to be brought in the first place are indeed remarkable.

    Finally…. Rick said: “Lastly, this post isn’t supposed to sound mean-spirited. It’s not supposed to be insulting.”

    And I believe you … but it was.

    So, I will crawl back into the little hole of silence from whence I inexplicably decided to venture, today, and I think I will probably remain there until “I” have the luxury of being a boss and until after my kids are grown and gone so that I can spend time THOROUGHLY researching every subject I decide to touch and following all of the links to your sources that you so painstakingly include in every post (I have notice them, FWIW)…. where I can actually enjoy the ability to have an opinion without even the slightest implication being made that my opinion, because it differs from someone else’s, is actually the WRONG opinion (as opposed to just being a “different” opinion).

    I appreciate the fact that this forum allows us to disagree in peace… but I am of the opinion that just because two people disagree that does not mean that one of them is entirely wrong or the other is entirely right. Until that perception on my part changes, or until I have the time to actually fight the battles I seem to start when I open my mouth (whichever comes first), I’ll simply lurk and listen (and no doubt learn).

  • 19 Bob // May 6, 2004 at 5:50 pm

    Hey Lisa,

    Feel free to a part of my defense team anytime!


  • 20 Lisa // May 6, 2004 at 6:17 pm

    lol… Thanks, Bob!

    Oh – and to correct a typo from my last post- I could NOT care less about Clinton or Jones… (I (oops) forgot the “not”)

  • 21 Nat Dawson // May 6, 2004 at 7:27 pm

    nick meyer writes “Nat, Where are you today?”

    Hey Nick – good to see you standing on principle, good buddy. And don’t worry. President George W Bush WILL be re-elected in November so don’t let all this Liberal folderol get to you. This is supposed to be fun and recreational but some of these folks here are taking it entirely too seriously. That guy Mark sure is a poison pen, isn’t he? Man, all that hate must gradually be corroding his internal organs.

    I think George Bush is a fine man. I love his personality, his charisma and his basic decency. You would have to look very hard to find someone in Washington who is as sincere and as dedicated to America’s future as President Bush is. I love the guy and I will be the first person in line in my precinct so that I can cast the first ballot for him.

    It’s very hard to comprehend why people like Mark are so eaten up with raw hate when it comes to the President. The President deserves respect and support. To read this constant stream of cavilling, sniveling commentary on The President certainly lends one to question the motives and the mental state of the writer.

    I am intimately acquainted with Arkansas, Little Rock, North Little Rock and the politics and general whackiness of that area and that era. I have even stayed at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock. I have no doubts in my mind, based on what I know of the local culture, that Paula Jones spoke the absolute truth.

    I don’t think the facts are in dispute in the Paula’s case. Clinton used a State Trooper to induce her to come to a suite in the Excelsior on the pretext of career advancement. He then pulled down his pants, exposed his private parts and told Paula to “kiss it”.

    That Paula Jones refused to do so and that she subsequently sued and was vindicated is something that all law abiding Americans should be proud of. That she was hounded by Clinton’s private Gestapo, as so many other people have been; that she was harassed and threatened by him indirectly makes it all the more amazing that she endured.

    If Clinton had been a Republican the Liberals would still be screaming to this day. NOW would have demanded his resignation. The media would have hounded him. Dan Rather et al would have been apoplectic. The double standard would have been sickening.

    Clinton’s own hubris brought the entire case and subsequent proceedings about. It speaks volumes as to who he is and how the media coverage is in this country. Not at all encouraging especially if his “wife” should ever ascend to The Presidency. I’m sorry but every time I see the Clinton woman on television I just get a sense of a very evil presence. I have to break off what I’m doing and pray The Rosary because the all-encompassing sense of evil that she generates is absolutely chilling.

    But be of good cheer, my friend. President Bush is going to be re-elected and hopefully the Republicans will put up such a good candidate in 2008 that that vile woman will never again occupy the Oval Office.

    Peace, bro.

  • 22 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 7:34 pm

    If the “facts” of the Paula Jones case were not in dispute, if she had been “vindicated,” the case would not have been thrown out on its merits.

    You seem to be obsessed with me, Nat. It’s starting to concern me. I hate to break this to you, but I’m straight.

  • 23 Nat Dawson // May 6, 2004 at 7:45 pm

    What? Do you live on this site? Someone please note the time between my post and his. Get a life, man.

    And sorry to have to disillusion you but I’m not at all obsessed with you. Your posts speak for themselves. They reek with a twisted sort of angst. You can’t hide your hatred of The President. It is imbued in your every sentence.

    Pointing out the deplorable manner in which you speak of The President does not equate to obsession. Or, in your twisted milieu, does rebuttal of your hateful comments amount to obsession?

    I’m serious. I think you need help.

  • 24 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 8:15 pm


    If you have any ideas to share, I suggest you stick to those. Is that possible for you, Nick?

    Even the other neo-cons who post here generally stick to issues — issues that, granted, sometimes involve personalities such as Shrub or Clinton or others who have thrust themselves into the public arena and have, therefore, become issues themselves, to a degree.

    I’ve been on a lot of bulletin boards and a few blogs in my time. Never have I had anyone so obsessed with me. Is there anything (or anyone) else you think about?

    I refer you to an earlier quote I posted from Abraham Lincoln. Something along the lines of “Big minds think about ideas, small minds think about people.” Size matters. Think about it, Nat.

  • 25 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 8:24 pm

    Mea Cupla! My apologies to Nick. I referred to him in a question above when I meant to use Nat’s name. I shouldn’t confuse the two of you. Nick, you seem to be to be a very different kind of person than Nat. I hope you can forgive my error.

  • 26 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 8:25 pm

    Another mistake! It’s Mea Culpa! Please forgive my typo above.

  • 27 Nat Dawson // May 6, 2004 at 8:46 pm

    So, now that you’ve been called out for your excessive Bush-hate posts, you are attempting to control the content of the blog by demanding “ideas” only?

    I think you ought to look at the foot of each topic post that is started by Rick or Bob. What does it say down there? It says “Comments”.

    If “comments” are called for then that is what I provide. Now you want to try and say that I should not submit comments but that I should submit “ideas”. This is curious coming from you because I can’t find ONE “idea” that you’ve submitted. What I can see is a continuous stream of invective directed at President Bush. But I don’t see any ideas.

    Here’s an idea for YOU. Why don’t you just comment on each topic as it appears? Just provide your comments and leave it at that. I think that’s what “Comments” means.

    Try not to attack other people who have a different point of view and certainly, it would be refreshing, if you would take a break from your incessant bleating about President Bush.

  • 28 Bob // May 6, 2004 at 9:01 pm


    It’s obvious that some opinions on this blog are not an exact fit with other opinions on this blog.

    That’s my attempt at subtle, please notice it.

    Again I ask that the participants of this blog refrain from offending, and especially BAITING, each other.

    Witty is very cool, surly is not.

    PLEASE do not turn this place into a yet another name calling, non issue blog. Let’s be different.

    I’m serious, I’ll stop writing if this keeps up.

    Oh wait, maybe that’s your plan! OK, I’ll keep writing UNTIL it stops!

    Very seriously, knock off the high school crap. Comments can be posted by anyone, they can be unposted by our host and I don’t think its his intention to have a potty mouth blog.

    Please show us your intelligence!

  • 29 Mark // May 6, 2004 at 10:18 pm

    Just out of curiousity, fellow readers, who appears to be the one making personal attacks on this blog? Who is making boorish, juvenile remarks that purport to pass for medical diagnosises?

    I know what I see when I read the comments here. Am I the only one who sees it?

  • 30 Rick // May 6, 2004 at 10:58 pm

    In response to Lisa’s comments, I’m not sure I know what to say right now.

    First, in addition to the stories, I posted the links to the legal documents — and I identified them as the legal documents so they wouldn’t be confused with the stories. And the reply is that there isn’t time to read all the stories, and the stories are simplistic anyway, because they’re written for general readers. (Note that this is a paraphrase of what was said; hence the missing quotation marks.) But the legal documents aren’t as characterized by this view. The Judge’s opinion and the Memorandum from the Clinton team were legal documents. They aren’t “in simple enough terms.”

    Further — and this is one of the more important things I want to say — you don’t actually have to read any of the links if you don’t want to. As I mentioned, they function like footnotes. They’re a kind of support for the point that was being made. In the same way that law review articles aren’t simply written as unsupported arguments &#8212 and (again) I don’t pretend that blog writing, particularly blog comment writing is always intended to rise to that scholarly level &#8212 I don’t like to write my articles, or even my comments, without providing support for the points I’m making. After all, a lot of the topics on which I write are considered (erroneously, I think) “controversial.” (I think they’re “controversial” because people don’t have all the background; that’s one reason I provide it. This is not to ignore the fact that there are some things that people actually just disagree about.)

    It seems to me that if you don’t familiarize yourself with the background of the topic under discussion, then, well, where is the basis for stating that the points, the backing for which you don’t have time to read, are invalid based on your opinion (however many years of experience one might have) that things don’t normally work that way? Perhaps things don’t normally work a particular way. But if there’s documentation on some particular situation, you can actually check to see if it falls out, or has fallen out, in the expected way.

    As for the idea that Jones “successfully challenged” Clinton because she walked away with $850,000. Well, okay. If that’s the criteria, then everyone who was ever mugged was “successfully challenged.” I just tend not to think of that as success.

    Do I believe there was no evidence? That’s exactly what I believe. I’m not sure that I’m right, but that’s what I believe after reading the legal documents I read (in addition to the stories in the popular press).

    As you’re well aware, the fact that the case was dismissed does not always say “NOTHING” about the underlying merits. Cases are dismissed for lots of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they’re without merit. If they’re without merit, then, by definition, that says something about the merits. Similarly (and I know you disagree with me here, but perhaps we just have to leave it at that), a settlement of $850,000 to put an end to a case that had already dragged on for years and by its very existence, in spite of the ultimate ruling that it was without merit, spawned so many other fruitless and expensive and time-consuming investigations (how many crimes was he ultimately convicted of, again? I forget) seems to me worth it, regardless of its merits, in order not to have to repeat those years. Compared to the other monies spent defending pointless court cases, I don’t think the $850,000 would be considered by the parties involved to be much money. (A 1997 article — and things weren’t over yet at that point — mentioned legal bills of $3 million; near as I can tell, that was before the settlement with Jones.)

    Regardless of what you think, this is not a slam on you — any you, but particularly not someone like you, Lisa, whose friendship I’m glad to have — for the fact that you don’t have time to read all this. Nor is it an attempt to indicate that your experience isn’t good enough to support things you say…most of the time. In the case I was discussing, though, the court documents, using the typical standard of review (favorable to the plaintiff) of such motions — and, incidentally, I don’t recall that this one was technically a 12(b)(6), which would come before the facts, right? (again, at this hour, I’m not looking it up; heck, I’m rambling enough as it is) it was a summary judgment of some sort (at this late hour, I’m not going to go look it up again to re-read, either!) — that indicated that the case was without merit.

    As for the disruption to Clinton not being important because he was only the client, defense teams aren’t completely disconnected from their clients. They may decide legal strategies. They may write or argue motions. Clients still have to go to court. They still have to testify. And they still have a kind of Damocles sword hanging over their heads until the case is settled. And, in Clinton’s case, the Hounds of the Baskervilles were on him for, what? More than 8 years? (After which they convicted him of how many crimes?) Aside from what (I’m truly sorry, but I disagree with you here) must have been a terrible distraction, I suspect it also impacted his ability to work with others. Most Republicans didn’t want to anyway, but even people who might have been so inclined (I would imagine) could not have helped but be impacted.

    Lastly, I’m desperately sorry that I can’t disagree with you — someone I actually think of as a friend — without driving you into a hole. I didn’t actually think we were having a fight. As I wrote, I believed (still do, in fact) that I was providing information that other people don’t seem to have. Because I really don’t get the venom. When I read the articles and judicial opinions and briefs regarding events for which I was not present, and therefore cannot say I’m intimately familiar with, I find myself scratching my head over the incongruity of the contents of those documents and the public debate over the events which they purport to, well, document.

    I would like you to note, too, that while this post has focused on you (because of your last post), the post to which you apparently took offense was aimed at a larger group; it wasn’t even limited to those who read this blog. Again, the idea was to make an argument based on the documents (which don’t have to be read if you’re willing to accept that I read them myself and correctly reported on them — again, the links function as footnotes) and about documents which it seems to me would be more veridical than the rabid angry rantings of those who cannot ever forgive Bill Clinton for having the nerve to be both a Democrat and President.

    And since when did disagreement amongst law students mean we had to shut up and crawl back into holes, anyway? I don’t think that you should do either of those things. I’m glad you stopped “lurking.” If you must think of this as some kind of conflict betwixt us, then think of it as a chance for sharpening your litigating skills or a joust. It certainly doesn’t have to be unfriendly.

    When I start sounding like Nat, we can all crawl back into the hole he came out of. 😉 And won’t that be fun?

    (Welcome Back, Nat.)

  • 31 Lisa // May 7, 2004 at 12:39 am

    Rick, the disagreements have not driven me back into a hole… I went there willingly. (Although the way in which the disagreements are sometimes expressed, in combination with my own rather contrary mood of the day, may have been factors in that decision.)

    [… now coming back OUT of the hole temporarily….]

    BTW FWIW – I DID say (and this is but one example of someone glosssing over what I write and then stating something I already said, as if I’d never said it)…

    “…the actual defendants in a case have very LITTLE to do with actually defending their cases. They’ll have a meeting here or there, but until it is time for a deposition or trial, the attorneys do it all.

    To which you replied:

    “Defense teams aren’t completely disconnected from their clients. They may decide legal strategies. They may write or argue motions. Clients still have to go to court. They still have to testify.”

    … didn’t I say they were not all that involved “until it is time for a deposition or trial” ?? (The two occassions on which a defendant would testify.)

    In any event:

    First, I just went back and checked your post… I do not find any links reflecting that they go to actual court documents – rather they go to CNN or BBS news pages.. which may have additional links, but as I said, I didn’t go to them and read them.

    Second, I already acknowledged the judge THOUGHT there was no evidence. I would expect a judge’s memorandum to say exactly that. Again, however, judges are not infallible so the fact that a judge rules “no evidence” does not necessarily mean it is so… so I would have skipped the judge’s opinion, although the actual motions WOULD be interesting reading.

    Third, I never said your points were invalid.

    Fourth, there are thousands of defendants with Damocles’ sword over their heads on a daily basis yet they are able to competently perform their job functions. NO their jobs are NOT as important as the presidency of the US, but to those defendants, it feels like their jobs are equally important… and they are simply not shelling out $850,000 to make an invalid claim go away.

    Finally, I never thought your original post was aimed only at me, and I noticed your reference to people outside the readership of the blog, but you did take direct issue with some of my points.

    In any event, please rest assured that disagreement amongst law students has not driven me back into my hole.

    I have chosen to go there on my own, despite the fact that I generally enjoy a debate and any chance to sharpen my litigation skills, mostly because of the very fact that I DO consider you a friend. You see, the realization hit me, today, that if not for our friendship, I would have been sorely tempted to resort to unkind remarks and, quite frankly, that is not characteristic of the person I choose to be…

    PS-I hope your final went well tonight (I’m sure it did)

    [Crawling back into my safe haven, now…..] 🙂

  • 32 Lisa // May 7, 2004 at 12:48 am

    Okay, stop screwing with my head… 🙂

    By way of explanation (to everyone else)….

    Rick’s post was significantly longer after I wrote mine (I did not notice it until I submitted it, but when I updated the page, so did his comment). That is not to say he amended it in response to mine – his updated first, but I did not see it until I posted mine… presumably becuase he was editing as I was responding…. and frankly I will probably wait to read his changes until morning…. So in the meantime, I hope there were not real substantive changes… otherwise my response is going to be totally nonsensical.

    (I guess this is my – “if it doesn’t make sense, it’s because the piece to which I was responding changed and I didn’t see it in time so forgive me for anything I’ve missed” post.) 🙂

  • 33 Rick // May 7, 2004 at 1:03 am

    Your post still makes sense. The stuff I added was primarily by way of trying to make sure I addressed some other points I didn’t initially address (so you wouldn’t say I glossed over them :o).

    The other thing I did was try to tone down some of the rhetoric. Some of the blog comments — I’m not talking about yours, you haven’t done this that I see — have been of the sort that have caused me to start reading material (in my free time, of course! ha!) on communication. Deborah Tannen has an interesting book out right now called The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialog and I read the first chapter after I wrote my comment originally and decided, based on some of what I read, that I wanted to change a couple things. (I hope for the better. But at this hour? Who knows?)

    I hope to get back to regular blogging tomorrow.

  • 34 Bob // May 7, 2004 at 6:42 am

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.

    – Edward R. Murrow

  • 35 Nat Dawson // May 7, 2004 at 7:22 am


    The topic created by Rick was the Paula Jones lawsuit. Your posting buddy, Mark, repeatedly attempted to morph the topic into yet more ad hominem attacks on President Bush. This time warp phenomenom was noted and commented on by Lisa, so I’m not alone in making this observation.

    Your friend Mark writes as if The President awakes each day with intentions that are inimical to the United States. I think your friend is living in the past. The prior presidency was all about the incumbent and his petty narcisissism. The current presidency is about the future good of the country. I think he confuses the two.

    And then, when someone protests his churlish behavior, he issues a “fellow posters” post in a rather comical effort to co-opt the viewers of this blog to his point of view. Now THAT’s “high school”, Bob.

    The most successful blogs I’ve seen are the ones that have the least number of rules. I operate a private industry bulletin board and we only have one rule and that is you cannot use the board to break the law. Other than that I allow posters to sort out for themselves what the parameters are. For the most part they are well-intentioned and cooperative.

    For some reason I’m unable to fathom, the extreme leftwing of this country has taken it upon itself to conduct a libelous campaign against the person of The President. They do not appear to want discussion of policy. For them their only interest appears to be hurling a constant stream of silly, childish insults in the direction of The President. Do you condone your friend Mark’s characterization of The President as “Mr Yellow cake?” What is accomplished by such slander?

    Given the preponderance of parasitical leaches…err…attorneys on this board, I would pose the question – what does the word “comments” imply? Perhaps we can get one of our legal brethren to opine on this. I’m talking about the word, indeed the link, to a comment area, that appears at the foot of each daily topic posting. To me the word suggests that comments on the subject matter of today’s topic are being solicited. And indeed I have supplied my comments.

    I don’t see “debate” or “discussion” at the foot of each topic. Perhaps you would kindly clarify what the intent is? Do you wish to have comments or do you wish to invoke a full fledged debate?

    Finally, let me say that I believe that the deliberate attempts to morph posts about topics, that are receding into the mists of history, into a repeated, vicious (e.g. gratuitous remarks about The President’s children) and ugly slander on The President are both counter-productive to this weblog and worthy of rebuke.

  • 36 Nick // May 7, 2004 at 8:01 am


    I have no problem with gays. Really. One of my two best friends in undergraduate school was (and still is) gay. We used to have a gay couple across the street. They were the best neighbors we ever had.

    I don’t know how many different ways to tell you this — I AM STRAIGHT!! Please end your obsession.

    You talked of a daughter. I’m guessing you may have a wife. Does she know you think about another man every waking moment?

    Give it up, Nat, and stick to the issues. You’re creeping me out.

  • 37 Mark // May 7, 2004 at 8:20 am

    I don’t know how Nick’s name got on the last post. That was from me.

    Nat,the fact that you cannot post without talking about me on a persona level is showing that you are either:

    1) completely without any ideas to share relating to the issues;

    2) obsessed with me in an unappreciated way; or (as I fear)

    3) both

  • 38 Bob // May 7, 2004 at 8:34 am

    For some reason I’m unable to fathom, the extreme leftwing of this country has taken it upon itself to conduct a libelous campaign against the person of The President. They do not appear to want discussion of policy. For them their only interest appears to be hurling a constant stream of silly, childish insults in the direction of The President. Do you condone your friend Mark’s characterization of The President as “Mr Yellow cake?” What is accomplished by such slander?

    First of all, Nat, you are appealing to someone with little or no influence on this blog.

    Rick is the owner and makes the decisions about what is ‘blogworthy’ in what articles get posted and what, if any, comments are removed.

    To his credit, there have been more than a few comments from a select few contributors that have offended him and his sense of right and wrong, yet he has let them stay. His belief in the First Amendment is more than theoretical.

    If you’re asking me if I think that the posts are going overboard, my answer is yes. I have submitted an article to Rick that addresses it.

    In my opinion, and this is only opinion, there are two camps that are over sensitive, they are the hard core Republicans and hard core Democrats. I do not speak for either camp.

    For example, in our latest discussion, the Paula Jones anniversary naturally led to discussions about the Clinton administration. Those discussions led to discussions and comparisons to the present administration and boom, there goes reason.

    Does Clinton deserve to be questioned about morals and ethics? In my opinion, if you’re the President of any adminstration its a valid question, but Clinton’s especially so.

    What better way to prove your platform than to withstand the questions of critics?

    Are the Democrats still hurt by the unrelenting energy that Clinton’s detractors put into trying to impeach and disgrace him? You bet.

    Now that the Republicans are in the White House the Democrats are returning that energy tit for tat. And this war in Iraq is a HUGE pressure point for the opposition, both internationally and domestically. Notice I didn’t say the war was right or wrong, just a pressure point to be expoited by the other party.

    Remember that the election was hardly a public mandate for either candidate. Again, its only my opinion but I think the American public was disgusted with BOTH parties. You can only watch people fight so long before you want to turn away.

    Unfortunately it was our democratic process they were turning away from.

    As regards my opinion of Mark’s comments, he and I have not always agreed. I find him occasionally over sensitive when it comes to the Democratic party.

    But he did allow me some insight into his childhood in the deep South (via comments on this blog) and how the Republicans (at that time) were so set on keeping the status quo even though they were aware that minorities were suffering because of it. To him, that translated to people suffering, not a political class.

    I respect anyone who sees people in their ideals versus someone who quotes chapter and verse and doesn’t understand what they’re saying. This is not a veiled slam against you or anyone else, its just my preference.

    It’s not to say that Mark cannot get under your skin. I know no one else better at it in their writing. This guy is going to be one hell of an attorney and I hope his rates are reasonable if I ever need one. (So far, so good…)

    On more than one occasion I had to back away from the computer and reconsider my ‘knee jerk’ reaction to a Mark post. That’s what Mark wants and when he gets it, he’s got you.

    Nat, your writings are some that I also consider occasionally over sensitive. I applaud your iron willed support of this president but the little jabs and hooks that anyone can respond with sometimes are not ‘a libelous campaign against the person of The President’ but an opportunity to show wit and be a smart ass.

    Responding to wit with wit is always a great read.

    Your early comments were very thoughtful and made me stop and consider your position. As I have said before, I am a free agent, not committed to either political party. Some of your responses made me do further reading and spend time digesting your words. I welcome those posts since I want to learn as much as I can before the election.

    I routinely stop consideration of anyone’s words when they say ‘you need help’, ‘get a life’ or someone’s sole opinion is ‘slander’. That include’s Mark’s comments, your comments or Rush’s or Franken’s or O’Reily, etc.

    That just shows me that the guy is out of ammo.

    I am sorry for the long reply but Nat, you’re opinion is VERY welcome here, along with Mark’s, along with everyone elses. When a verbal hockey game breaks out then I’m out of it. If I want hockey I have ESPN.

    If I want to appreciate the intelligent and thoughtful discussion I have this blog and its readership.

    The people who read this blog are what motivated my to write in the first place. What better place to ask a question and get valuable responses than here?

    I may end up in law school, maybe not, but I really have an appreciation for critical thinking and eloquent expression.

    I would hope everyone feels that way and participates.

    Otherwise, ESPN is 24/7. Enjoy.

  • 39 nick meyer // May 7, 2004 at 8:56 am

    Wow. I misseed a lot. You see I only read and comment at work because when I am home I have my hands full with the family. Mark thank you for clarifying who wrote the last post. Nat my man. Welcome back buddy. I will not comment any further on this issue because it is kicking a dead horse and not worthy of any more valuable time. Let’s discuss the here and now like gentlemen (and ladies- Lisa.) I am really out of my league here with the lawyers and such, so I think I will set back , watch and listen and learn from those that have the time to do the research needed and then intelligently comment. Bob, don’t leave. I’ll be good!!!!

  • 40 Mark // May 7, 2004 at 9:16 am


    You should not feel out of any league just because a few of us here happen to know a few things about one particular subject. If you don’t believe me when I say that some real idiots practice law, just look through your local yellow pages under the heading of “Attorneys.”

    Not knowing you, Nick, I’m not aware of your interests or background. But even in this ignorance of your particular aptitudes, I feel confident in speculating that you have probably forgotten more about some subjects than the rest of us would ever hope to learn.

    Anyone who sticks to the issues and writes from their own heart and head (as opposed to parroting out things they hear from talk radio or the web) is a pleasure to read — regardless of their views.

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