December 2007

What would Tip O’Neil do?

by Diane Dimond on December 25, 2007

With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel …

Where have you gone Mr. Tip O’Neill?

Or more precisely where has the political style of long-time Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill gone?

I’m afraid the answer is: Gone and dead ~ just like the legendary Massachusetts pol who made it part of his job in leading the House of Representatives to work with and compromise with the opposition party to get things done for the good of the country!

Look, I don’t pretend to be an expert on O’Neill’s behind-the-scenes strategy. That is, perhaps, best left to his one time aide and my former MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews. I was just a rookie reporter on Capitol Hill back in the 80’s when Matthews escorted our rag-tag group of journalists into the ornate, ceremonial Speaker’s Office. He would be seated behind a huge mahogany desk and we would all gather and stand before him. The set-up must have reminded him of his Catholic school days and being called before the Mother Superior. [click to continue…]

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Steroids and baseball – Its not just about the players

by Diane Dimond on December 13, 2007

Everyone is missing the point!

From here on out it’s not about the long list of major league baseball players whose names have come up in connection with the illegal substance scandal. No, they are all grown men. They each made their own tortured, justified decision to put illegal substances into their bodies. They played Russian roulette with their careers and their health – all for the massive paydays and fleeting bits of fame on a baseball field. To hell with them! History will judge them in the very books they tried so hard to influence. They will be tainted with the Scarlet “S” for Steroids or “H” for Human Growth Hormone. Maybe newly improved drug tests will catch them and their ilk in the future – but maybe not.

I’m telling you right now the legal system will do nothing to punish these men who have already cheated and lied their way into the upper echelons of America’s pastime. Many are already out of the game, basking in their ill gotten achievements. The others, even those who protest their innocence in the face of a 20 month long investigation, are tainted now to the point where no matter how well they do in the future (sans illegal substances?) they’ll wind up like Pete Rose or Mark McGwire – on the scrap heap of baseball history instead of the heroes of the game they desperately wanted to be. [click to continue…]

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The Jackson kid comes of age

by Diane Dimond on December 12, 2007

Thile legions of Michael Jackson loyalists were busy celebrating the 25th anniversary of their idol’s “Thriller” album there was another milestone marked.

To me it was a much more noteworthy date to commemorate – much more so than the noisy, highly orchestrated tribute to the entertainer’s last real blockbuster hit.

Gavin Arvizo came of age. On December 2nd he marked his 18th birthday. In the eyes of the law he is now a fully emancipated adult. If he wanted to he could now make his own decision to write a book or sell his story about his association with the self-appointed King of Pop. But he hasn’t – more on that in a minute.

He now goes by another name and he and his family have moved away from the southern California home they took after the now infamous criminal trial of Jackson.

I hesitate to reveal what I know of the young man’s current life. He has already been through so much and specific disclosures can only bring havoc to his carefully re-constructed existence. The bottom line, however, is that he is fine. [click to continue…]

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Isn’t this part of the war on terror too?

by Diane Dimond on December 3, 2007

Let’s do a God-forbid scenario here.

What if last week’s hostage standoff at Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in New Hampshire took place, instead, at the office of a candidate who didn’t happen to have life-long Secret Service protection. Let’s say it happened at candidate Joe Blow’s campaign office … and Joe Blow was there.

And let’s say for the sake of this argument that it wasn’t just a mentally disturbed man who’d strapped harmless hardware store flares to his body but, rather, a bone fide terrorist swathed in plastique trying to make a horrific point about our election system.

Under the rules of the game right now Mr. Blow wouldn’t have had any government supplied security to protect him as he ran for the nation’s highest office. As it stands right now only Hillary Clinton, as a former first lady, and her closest Democratic Party rival, Barack Obama, are under the protective umbrella of the Secret Service. No Republicans are presently covered. [click to continue…]

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