Amnesia Strikes Again, Etc
* NOW, FOR HILLARY'S RESPONSE: Really now, is anyone surprised that in her 25-page sworn response to questions from House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman William F. Clinger, Hillary Clinton stuck by her denial that she had anything to do with the summary and unwarranted firing of seven longtime staffers of the White House Travel Office in May, 1993?
To do otherwise would have meant explaining just why she wanted "those people out [and] our people in," as she has been reported as saying at the time. It would have meant revealing that she acted at the behest of her friend and financial backer, Harry Thomason, who wanted to steer travel business to his own aviation company and those of his pals.
More importantly, it would have meant refuting her own previous sworn statements fo the General Accounting Office. Which could have landed the first lady in the same boat as former White House administer David Watkins. After the discovery of a memo in which he made clear that Mrs. Clinton wanted the staffers fired, and in which he intimated he had not told the truth about it to GAO investigators, his case was forwarded to the Justice Department for a possible perjury investigation. Now, Hillary Clinton has already earned the dubious distinction of being the first wife of a sitting president to be called to testify before a grand jury - and that was thanks to the mysterious disappearance and sudden reappearance of Rose Law Firm billing records that called into question some statements Mrs. Clinton had made about her representation of her Whitewater partner, James B. McDougal's Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association. Surely she'd want to avoid adding to that the even more dubious distinction of being the first sitting first lady to be investigated for perjury.
A NEW TUNE AT WOODIES: Apparently undaunted by the fact that the D.C. zoning commission had virtually zoned the possibility of a new opera house in the old Woodies building out of existence, philanthropist Betty Brown Casey went ahead and bought the building at a bankruptcy auction for the Washington Opera anyway - for $18.1. million.
The zoning commission had issued a preliminary ruling last week that at least 50 percent of the space in any Woodies renovation must be given over to restaurants and retail space - a requirement the opera would not be able to meet. City officials, taken as they were with the cultural possibilities of a downtown opera house, worried about a loss in property-tax revenues (the Opera is a non-profit organization), and felt that in the current cash-crunch the retail requirement would bring more to the city. An infusion of tax revenues would certainly be welcome at the moment, given the city's financial status (or lack thereof). On the other hand, who could possibly oppose raising the level of the city's cultural life? …