Monthly Archives: April 2014

I Just Don’t Get It! Why Is “Golden Boy” Bill Clinton So Popular?

Recently I came across a copy of “The Starr Report,” the report to Congress by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr on the investigation of President Bill Clinton’s misdeeds while in office arising out of his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and his subsequent efforts to cover it up. The Report reads like a lurid Hollywood “B” movie. You cannot read the descriptions of Clinton’s sexual encounters (which occurred in or near the Oval Office!) without seeing Clinton in a different light. Clinton was impeached as a result of his criminal conduct arising during the investigation, justifiably so, but the amazing thing is how well he is received today despite that conduct. Here is an impeached president who disgraced himself, his family, his country and the White House, but nevertheless seems to be enjoying a charmed life as if his impeachment, and the conduct which led to it, never happened.

Is that the way it should be? As gangster Bugsy Siegel put it (according to the movie “Bugsy”), “Everyone deserves a fresh start.” Apparently it’s a matter of how the press treats the subject. Or maybe it’s a question of politics. Or maybe both. But I don’t remember Richard Nixon enjoying this kind of popularity at anytime after Watergate, although his public approval rating did later recover somewhat. Certainly George W. Bush doesn’t enjoy Clinton’s level of popularity either.

While the seriousness of Clinton’s misconduct is eyeopening, it has been largely buried and forgotten due to his public persona today. In fact, there were eleven separate criminal acts by President Clinton, as found by the Report, “which may constitute grounds for impeachment.” These included lying under oath five times, trying to obstruct justice four times, conspiring, in essence, with Monica Lewinsky to obstruct justice, and acts inconsistent with the President’s constitutional obligation to faithfully execute his duties while in office. Forget the fact that Clinton was never put on trial after impeachment in the House – the stigma of this conduct should be inescapable.

To digress for a moment, ultimately President Clinton asked then Attorney General Janet Reno, in early 1994, to appoint a special prosecutor to look into allegations that real crimes were committed by President Clinton and Hillary Clinton arising out of the Whitewater affair, an affair whose echoes continue to linger today despite serious efforts by the Clintons to sweep them under the rug, with some success. Starr’s investigation of Whitewater ultimately led him to the relationship between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. On a comparative note, the question could be asked as to why President Obama hasn’t done the same, i.e., appoint independent counsel, with regard to the IRS scandal. I think President Obama is still obsessed with his own importance, an obsession which separates him from reality. Or he is simply afraid that the real facts will come out.

Despite all of his baggage, the fact remains that Bill Clinton is a likeable guy. And that’s probably where his popularity comes from, at least some of it. He is also a master politician and he gets immense help from the liberal media, no matter what he does, as well as from his own party.

Clinton’s popularity isn’t confined to his own persona either. Much of the glow has radiated onto wife Hillary. Recall that she parachuted into New York some time ago and, riding on the back of hubby Bill, was elected to the U.S. Senate largely, in my opinion, as a result of Bill’s reputation and popularity. Her own accomplishments at that time, as well as now, were practically nil. (It will be interesting to see what Hillary’s forthcoming personal memoir dealing with her tenure as secretary of state has to say about Benghazi).

And, speaking of Hillary, the curtain has not yet dropped on Bill’s continuing opus. Regardless of where he’s been and what he’s done, his glowing persona will continue to shine on his wife. Assuming Hillary runs for president, again, an assumption more likely to come true than not, watch for hubby Bill to be at her side. His presence will not diminish her chances of being elected in any way but will guarantee that the continuing glow from his radiance will in turn help to light up Hillary’s presence and shore her up wherever she goes and whatever she says. I find this state of affairs to be absolutely amazing but it is what it is. Needless to add, there will not be any mention, not by the liberal media anyway, of Bill’s shady past.

Finally, as pointed out above but bears emphasis, the Starr Report found “substantial and credible information” that Clinton lied under oath no less than five times. This crime has particular significance today. As previously written on this blog site but it deserves repeating, there is a jury instruction available to trial lawyers, at least in California, entitled “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.” This instruction, if given by the trial judge, allows the jury to find that a party or witness who was found to be lying in one particular can be disbelieved about everything else he/she says. The court of public opinion should continue to keep this in mind in evaluating everything Bill Clinton says on any subject, past, present, or future.

Incidentally, the same thought can be applied to Hillary, who was found to be a “congenital liar” by syndicated columnist and Pulitzer prize winner, the late Bill Safire, in his 1996 New York Times essay entitled, “A Blizzard of Lies.” This thought should be kept in mind when reading Hillary’s forthcoming memoir as well as during her anticipated presidential run. During her last presidential run, it should be remembered, she lied about landing on the tarmac in Bosnia under sniper fire, a lie which she later recanted and confessed to be a “mistake.”

The danger with both Bill and Hillary is they are each established world class liars, and will say anything, anywhere, at anytime, true or not, if it will help to get them to where they want to go. Be forewarned, America!.

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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The IRS Scandal – “Not A Smidgen of Corruption” – Another Obama Lie

When Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly posed the question to President Obama on this past Super bowl Sunday about the existence of corruption at the IRS and Obama replied, “There’s not even a smidgen of corruption,” the president has once again lied, the existence of corruption being very clear if not overwhelming. The ongoing congressional investigation into the IRS scandal has, among other things, established that conservative groups and organizations were indeed targeted by the IRS for unwarranted and unnecessary delays, investigation, and intrusion. Key IRS official Lois Lerner has repeatedly invoked the 5th Amendment when called before Congress to answer questions. Congress claims she has waived her constitutional privilege and has moved to hold her in contempt. She is entitled to her day in court, but why invoke the 5th if, as she said in her original appearance, she did nothing wrong.

Emails have now surfaced during the investigation showing that Lerner had a big part in the targeting, that she was even the driving force behind it. That this is clear evidence of IRS bias and, consequently, corruption, in the administration has now become undeniable and clearer with each passing day. It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that the so-called impartiality of the IRS has been compromised, does not exist in this administration, and that the agency has been and is being used to seek out and punish all those who oppose the president’s political philosophy.

The latest uncovered emails reveal that there were communications between Lois Lerner and the Department of Justice about going after conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. Thus the circle of taint seems to be widening and the issue of whether the targeting was politically motivated or not appears to be getting clearer.

To date there has been no accountability. When this is considered in conjunction with the issues confronting Attorney General Eric Holder (as previously covered on this blog) and the issues arising from Benghazi, there can be no doubt that there is a purposeful failure to act by this president. That this has happened and is happening is not just outrageous but clearly labels this President as unfit for office. It is more than a mere lack of the transparency he promised when campaigning but evidence he has actually been dishonest with the American people. I am reminded of the words of Chief Justice John Marshall when he wrote in the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison (1803), that, impeachment aside, the President’s principal responsibility, seems to be simply his accountability “to his country in his political character, and to his own conscience.” We can’t say whether Obama’s conscience bothers him (apparently not because he continues to lie), but his political character, what there is left of it, is in shambles.

This entire episode is no laughing matter but democratic reaction to congressional efforts to get at the truth borders on the ludicrous. Politics is politics but when evidence strongly suggests that a president is using his power and influence to cause a key government agency to target opposing political groups, something should be done. Importantly, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has sent a letter to the Justice Department recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner. We’ll see whether Obama’s long-time crony, Attorney General Eric Holder, responds positively to this letter or at all. But don’t hold your breath. In any event, recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner should be just a beginning because it is just the tip of the iceberg. In other words, the country has a right to know if any direction to the IRS came from the White House and if so who gave it. It is highly doubtful that Lerner acted on her own volition unless there was some, implicit if not explicit, support from the White House. In any event Lois Lerner’s involvement in this scandal is unmistakeable and at a bare minimum she should forfeit her pension, paid for by taxpayer dollars.

It’s high time to get some answers and some accountability from this administration. This is not a police state. Transparency although promised by Obama is completely lacking. The country is not run by the White House, although the White House may think so. A full revelation of this entire issue must be forthcoming.

Copyright © Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Learn To Write With Confidence – It’s The Key To clear Writing

Over two years ago, one of the first blogs I published was about the need to write with confidence. This subject is so important to clear writing that it deserves repeating.

Many people complain that they can’t write well. Much of the trouble comes from self doubt about their writing ability. The development of confidence in writing begins with attitude, as with other things in life – if you believe you can write well, then you can. It’s as simple as that.

The secret to developing confidence in your writing is really no secret: you must simply write more. The more you write the better your writing will become and the greater your confidence will grow. Also, increase your reading experience. Read books, articles etc, written by experienced writers, and pay attention to their style of writing, sentence structure, and their selection and use of words.

Reading self-help books on self esteem and salesmanship is also helpful because good salesmanship depends to a large extent on having confidence in yourself, and any writing is a form of salesmanship, i.e., you are selling yourself. It’s a basic truism in selling that people will buy from you if they trust you. That’s true in writing as well. For your writing to be successful people must trust you, and achieving that trust will depend on the respect and credibility stemming from your writing. If the reader believes you to be a credible writer and trusts you, you’ve gone a long way towards accomplishing your goal of selling the reader on whatever you’re writing about.

My book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com/kindle books and in print), explains that writing is an art form, which means it can be learned like any other art form. Anybody can write well, but you need the dedication and desire to do it. A now and then approach isn’t going to do it. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can improve your writing dramatically. Writing guidelines and techniques can be learned through application and practice, even if writing is not your strong suit. But first you have to decide that you’re going to write well, and then work on your writing on a continuous and ongoing basis.

Start with a positive attitude toward your writing. Clear writing depends on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing. When you have that confidence it will show, the reader can see it. To obtain that confidence you must master what can best be described as the “inner game” of writing, overcoming mental blocks to clear writing. You can’t write well if you are nagged by self doubts and anxiety about your writing. Persistence and determination to write well are omnipotent. Remember what Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic work, “Think and Grow Rich,” that “thoughts are things.” Application of this principle to your writing can change your destiny by helping you on the road to becoming an accomplished writer if your positive thoughts about writing are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire to get ahead.

I’m also reminded of Tim Gallwey’s best seller, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” which is largely about developing the ability to focus your attention on the task at hand. It is more about solving life’s problems by learning the art of relaxed focus and attention to achieve peak mental performance, i.e., getting into a “zone”, than playing tennis.

Here’s the bottom line: whether playing tennis or writing, you must first develop confidence in your ability. The best way to develop confidence in your writing is by working at it. Practice your writing continuously, and refine it as you go. Study the style and technique of other writers. The more you read and write, the more your writing will improve and so will your confidence. In this age of global communication, the ability to write clearly will stand you in good stead more than ever before. Because of the explosion of computer technology, the written word has reached new heights of importance. If you can write clearly you will not only enhance your ability to improve your earning potential but will improve the quality of the nation’s work force, which will benefit the country.

So by learning to write clearly, you can help yourself and also help your country. That’s an unbeatable combination!

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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It’s Baseball Season Again. Welcome Back!

As a lifelong baseball fan, the advent of opening day and the return of baseball to the national scene has prompted me to pass on a few random thoughts about our national pastime.

Not too long ago I was visiting family in Denver, Colorado. We were having lunch in a Red Robin restaurant, the walls of which were adorned with sports memorabilia. During bites from my hamburger, I happened to glance at the wall nearest me. I was startled to see an autographed baseball containing signatures of two ballplayers I hadn’t heard about for years – Gil Coan and Al Kozar. These two played for the old Washington Senators, a team I followed when I was a kid growing up in Washington, D.C.
That team is best remembered for its futility and is memorialized by the old addage coined by an unrecalled congressman, “Washington, first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.”

The late Harmon Killebrew, a Hall of Fame hitter, came up with the Senators in 1954. He was dubbed a “bonus baby” by the press because he was paid what was then an enormous sum to sign, $25,000.00. When the Senators finally assembled enough talent to be truly competitive, including pitcher Bob Porterfield, center fielder Bob Allison, and catcher Earl Battey, the franchise was moved to Minnesota where it became the Minnesota Twins. Later, a new team was organized and located in Washington D.C. It was also called the Washington Senators and was briefly managed by another Hall of Famer, the legendary Boston Red Sox slugger, Ted Williams. That franchise ultimately moved to Texas where it became known as the Texas Rangers. After 2004, Major League Baseball moved the Montreal Expos, a National League franchise, to Washington D.C. and renamed it the Washington Nationals.

On another subject, I read in a local newspaper the other day that Julia Ruth Stevens. an adopted daughter of Babe Ruth, turned 97. She is legally blind and gets around in a wheelchair. One of the great disappointments of the Babe’s life was that he never got a chance to manage a major league club after he retired in 1935. His daughter claimed in this article that it was because major league owners feared he would bring in black players, more than a decade before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. According to the article, Ruth would often frequent New York City’s Cotton Club and befriended black athletes and celebrities.

Babe Ruth was definitely a great athlete, being a premier American League pitcher before becoming one of the great hitters, some say the greatest, of all time. Between 1914, his rookie year, and 1919, he won 89 games for the Boston Red Sox, one year winning 24 games, 23 in another, and 18 in another. He pitched 29 consecutive shutout world series innings, a record which stood for many years. In 1919, his first full year as an outfielder, he hit 29 home runs, which set a new major league record. Then in 1920, after being sold to the New York Yankees in the off season, he hit 54 home runs, yet another record, restoring much needed credibility to the world of baseball after the shock of the 1919 Black Sox scandal when members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of trying to throw the world series to the Cincinnati Reds. Finally, in 1921, as if to prove that 1920 was not a fluke, he hit 59 home runs, which was then still another home run record, the third in a row, never before and never since accomplished. In 1927, as a key part of the Yankees famed “murderers row,” he eclipsed his 1921 mark by hitting 60 home runs, a record which stood until 1961.

One final news item about the Babe. A recent story spotlighted his beginnings in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was born in 1895. He was incorrigible as a kid and was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, an orphanage/boarding school/reformatory, when he was six or seven, where he remained, in and out but mostly in, until he was 19. That year, 1914, he was signed to a professional baseball contract by Jack Dunn, owner of the then minor league Baltimore Orioles, and later that year sold to the Boston Red Sox. So, Ruth jumped from reform school to the major leagues in one year, quite a feat!

Baseball’s Hall of Fame began in 1936. There were five players elected that charter year, three hitters, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner, and two pitchers, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. Cy Young, who won the most games in baseball history, 511, was not elected until 1937. Players usually have to wait five years after retirement before becoming eligible for Hall of Fame consideration. There are three exceptions: Babe Ruth, who retired in 1935 and was elected in 1936, Lou Gehrig, who voluntarily retired in 1939 because of the onset of a fatal illness and was elected that same year, and Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash in 1972, still an active player, and was elected in 1973.

The foregoing reflects but a few of my thoughts garnered over a lifetime of reading about the game of baseball. I’ve always been interested in baseball history as well as watching the game itself. For those of you who, like me, enjoy baseball history, there is a marvelous book which came out in 1966 entitled “The Glory of Their Times,” by Lawrence Ritter. It is about the sixty to seventy years of baseball before the so-called modern era and contains stories told by the men who played the game itself. Red Barber has called it “The single best baseball book of all time.”

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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