Notable Quotables - 07/14/1997


It's the System's Fault, Not Clinton's


"At times it will seem as if an individual, or a presidential campaign, or a political party is being investigated. That's only partly true. What's really in the dock beginning today isn't any politician but the system that politicians built. What's important beginning today isn't what one party can show about the other, but what the campaign-finance system shows about our political system....The hearings that begin this morning aren't really about John Huang and Charlie Trie or Abraham Lincoln's bedroom but about the political loophole unregulated 'soft-money' contributions to the parties, not to the candidates that makes them important. Soft money exploded in 1996..."
- Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief David Shribman, July 8 "news analysis."

"Mr. Clinton in Europe is moving like a man on a roll. A summit here where he got almost everything he wanted, an economy back home that is the best in decades. Even the charges being raised about his party's fundraising tactics do not seem to stick...On testimony today that Mr. Clinton personally referred this man, John Huang, the central figure in the Senate investigation, for a fundraising job in the Democratic Party, the President for the first time confirmed the story himself. But his demeanor, and especially his answer, sent a message that it's no big deal to him....The President's aides say that Mr. Clinton is too busy with diplomacy to pay much attention to the Senate investigation."
- ABC's John Donvan from the NATO summit in Madrid, July 9 World News Tonight.

Which Way is Huang?


Huang had special interest in China, CIA officer testifies
- Washington Times, June 28

CIA Official Briefed 'Very Polite' Huang 30 Times at Commerce Dept.
- Washington Post, same day

Tax Class Warfare


"The working class are going to be eating bologna as a result of this tax bill because 40 percent of the children aren't going to get anything from the childcare, the child tax credit because, as Republicans said last week, 'We're not giving out welfare here.' Well, these are the people who catch the early bus, probably two buses to get to their jobs, may even work two jobs or making less than $30,000 a year and are paying huge amounts in payroll taxes and they're going to get no relief from this, while people earning $110,000 a year are going to."
- Time's Margaret Carlson on CNN's Late Edition, June 29.

"The secretary has his liberal defenders. They point out that he opposed Clinton's decision to sign welfare reform a much-criticized compromise with the GOP as too harsh, and supported some progressive moves like expanding income-tax credits for the disadvantaged....Rubin insists the Democrats will continue to vouch for the underclass, even though the administration has been conspicuously fudgy on issues like the capital-gains-tax cut which in this booming economy looks to many eyes like a plain giveaway to the rich. The current budget fight with the GOP, Rubin says, 'is largely about our view that tax cuts should help those who have not fared as well in this economy.' But with his reputation secure, the question is, how far will Robert Rubin go to help them?"
- Newsweek International Senior Editor Michael Hirsh concluding June 30 Newsweek story on Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

"The economy is so strong right now, Americans are making so much more money than expected, and paying so much more in taxes, that new government figures show the budget deficit could disappear entirely as early as next year, even without a budget deal...Some argue the new budget figures show there is no need to make big changes in Medicare, or to cut taxes for the well-to-do."
- ABC reporter John Cochran, July 9 World News Tonight. On Brady, No Waiting Period for Bias

"It seemed like a logical idea. Pass a law that says before anyone can buy a handgun they should first answer a few simple questions...Even gun dealers today were a bit puzzled by the ruling. Don Davis of Indianapolis said the background checks had allowed him to turn away dozens of convicted felons....No matter who does the checking, supporters of the Brady law say one lesson from this is very clear. If no background check is done anyone can walk into a gun store and purchase a weapon, including the nearly quarter of a million felons who tried to and were turned away the four years the Brady law was in effect."
- Beginning, middle and end of Jim Stewart's June 27 CBS Evening News story on the Supreme Court Brady ruling.

Prosecuting the Investigator


"I think Ken Starr is, is bound and determined to make James Carville look good. James Carville is the President's attack dog who's been after Ken Starr for so long and every time the, another story surfaces in which it seems like Ken Starr is being a little bit too aggressive, going after things which are a little bit seemingly off the point that in, in ways that he can't necessarily justify, he feeds into that."
- NBC News reporter Gwen Ifill, June 27 Washington Week in Review on PBS.

"I think what Starr is doing here, he's got his prosecutors' explanations and so on, but what he's really doing is playing with the long-term credibility of the institution of special prosecutors. I think people's patience is running out with that. And, you know, there may be a day in the country's history when we really need a special prosecutor, and I'm not sure that the currency won't have been spent by then."
- New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, same show.

Conservatism Equals Racism


"There is a vacuum of high-level leadership that needs to be filled. And as weak and periodically demagogic as Mr. Clinton has been, he is a substantial improvement over the racially poisonous Reagan-Bush era. That period began with Ronald Reagan brazenly kicking off his 1980 Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., where the civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney had been slain in 1964, and ended with Clarence Thomas making a mockery of Thurgood Marshall's seat on the Supreme Court."
- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in his New York Times column, June 20.

"Bill An Lee, the Clinton administration's nominee to head the Civil Rights Division is a tough advocate, several times successfully suing the City of Los Angeles over discrimination. But L.A. mayor Richard Riordan, a Republican, says Lee is no ideologue. He calls him an effective pragmatist. Yet Clint Bolick and other right-wingers oppose Lee. Why? Because he comes out of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Where do they want to get a civil rights' chief? The Ku Klux Klan?"
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt's Outrage of the Week, July 5 Capital Gang.

Let's Follow Bangladesh


"You talk about the United States leading the rest of the world. And the fact is that the very time we're talking about removing those things that facilitate the rise of women to some parity in the country, the rest of the world is actually introducing quotas to ensure India, Bangladesh, a host of other Third World countries, new democracies are introducing roles that laws that bring more women into the system....I find the Civil Rights Bill a little bit offensive."
Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Wright on Sen. Orrin Hatch's bill ending preferences in federal hiring. June 22 Fox News Sunday.

The Real Charles Kuralt: Chucking Conservatives


"I think liberalism lives the notion that we don't have to stay where we are as a society, we have promises to keep, and it is liberalism, whether people like it or not, which has animated all the years of my life. What on Earth did conservatism ever accomplish for our country? It was people who wanted to change things for the better."
- The late Charles Kuralt, who died July 4, in the May 5, 1994 CBS special, One for the Road with Charles Kuralt.


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Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
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