Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

National Perspective

Washington Insight

October 28, 1998|From The Times Washington Bureau

RAVING POINTS: The White House game plan when it comes to all things Monica these days seems to be the less said the better. The talking points are: Don't talk. But that's not the way Barbra Streisand sees it. La Barbra was among the 50 or 60 oh-so-beautiful people at a Bel-Air fund-raiser Saturday night who chipped in about $700,000 for the Barbara Boxer campaign and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Along with Streisand's ticket came a seat at the president's table and a 10-minute turn at the lectern, which she used to lash out at independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr. His investigation, she said, "has no legality." It's built on "illegal tactics," she added, "like setting up a sting operation against the president of the United States--talk about abuse of power." Starr and the Republican Party, she said, are brazenly "trying to manipulate the American people." As for the press, it is "headlining illegal grand jury leaks to win a ratings war." The bottom line: "This injustice in our system mocks our democracy. We must stop this attempted coup on the government" by defeating Republican candidates in the congressional election. Whew! The White House line: The diva was "not on the talking points." The president's line: "I only wish we really knew how Barbra really feels. It's so hard when people hold back."

*

SCANDAL TAKES A HOLIDAY: What do you do when your boss is facing impeachment hearings? Go to DisneyWorld! At least that's what one lieutenant on President Clinton's defense team did with his family this week, taking advantage of the fact that lawmakers are out of town running for reelection. Another senior member of Team Clinton, who after 10 months of scandal pressure seemed barely able to stay awake even while he was standing, had another remedy. He headed for a Caribbean island soon after Congress voted to hold the hearings.

*

WYE NOT? During last week's contentious Middle East summit at the Wye Plantation in Maryland, armed Secret Service agents made sure that prying reporters stayed a respectful distance from negotiators. Actually, the separation worked both ways. Security guards at the press center at nearby Chesapeake Community College made sure that only reporters got into the main press room. Late Wednesday night, with the Israeli delegation threatening to walk out of the talks, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dore Gold made the rounds of television cameras set up on the college's lawn. On the way back to his car, Gold decided to cut through the press center. "Yellow badges only," said the guard, referring to the credentials issued to reporters. "I am Israel's ambassador to the United Nations and a senior member of the Israeli delegation," Gold said angrily. "Yellow badges only," the guard repeated. Gold huffed around the building to his car.

*

HARD-PRESSED: Amid all the legal mumbo-jumbo, lurid sexual detail and dry technicalities of the documents from Paula Corbin Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton are refreshing--if humorous--glimpses of simple humanity. Among the documents released Monday is the partial deposition of one Dennis Corbin Kirkland, a former University of Arkansas football player, who had met Jones at a party years earlier. After many grueling questions about his sexual encounter with Jones, how many beers he had drunk, etc., Kirkland was asked by one attorney: "Did you do anything to prepare for the deposition today?" His answer: "I ironed my shirt."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|