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10. April 2013

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Then I outlined my plan for the future. First, I proposed that before spending the coming surpluses on new programs or tax cuts, we should save Social Security for the baby boomers retirement. In education, I recommended funding to hire air max 2012 new teachers and to cut class size to eighteen in the first three grades; a plan to help communities modernize or build five thousand schools; and assistance to help schools end the practice of social promotion, by providing funds for extra learning in after-school or summer-school programs. I reiterated my support for a Patients Bill of Rights, opening Medicare to Americans between the ages of fifty-five and sixty-five, expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act, and called for a large enough expansion in federal child-care assistance to provide support for one million more children.
On the security front, I asked for congressional support in combating an unholy axis of new threats from terrorists, international criminals, and drug traffickers; Senate approval of the expansion of NATO; and continued funding for our mission in Bosnia and our efforts to confront the hazards of chemical and biological weapons and the outlaw states, terrorists, and organized criminals seeking to acquire them.
The last section of my speech dealt with appeals to cheap nike air max bring America together and look to the future: tripling the number of empowerment zones in poor communities; launching a new clean water initiative for our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters; providing $6 billion in tax cuts and research funds for the development of fuel-efficient cars, clean-energy homes, and renewable energy; financing the next generation Internet to transmit information up to a thousand times faster; and funding the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which, because of congressional hostility, didnt have the resources to handle sixty thousand backlogged cases alleging discrimination in the workplace. I also proposed the largest increase in history for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Science Foundation so that ours will be the generation that finally wins the war against cancer and begins a revolution in our fight against all deadly diseases.
I closed the speech thanking Hillary for leading our millennium campaign to preserve Americas treasures, including the tattered old Star Spangled Banner, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem during the War of 1812.
There wasnt a word in the address about the scandal, and the biggest new idea had been to save Social Security first. I was afraid Congress would get into a bidding war for the coming surpluses and squander them on tax cuts and spending before we had dealt with the baby boomers retirement. Most Democrats agreed with me, and most Republicans didnt, though over the coming years we would hold a series of bipartisan forums around the country in which, despite everything else that was going on, we searched for common ground, arguing about how to provide for retirement security rather than whether to do so.
Two days after the speech, Judge Wright ordered that all evidence related to Monica Lewinsky be excluded from the Jones case because it was not essential to the core issues, making Starrs inquiry into my deposition even more questionable, cheap nike air max since perjury requires a false statement about a material matter. On the last day of the month, ten days after the firestorm began, the Chicago Tribune published a poll showing that my job approval rating had risen to 72 percent. I was determined to show the American people that I was on the job and getting results for them.
On February 5 and 6, Tony and Cherie Blair came to the United States for a two-day state visit. They were a sight for sore eyes for both Hillary and me. They made us laugh, and Tony gave me strong support in public, emphasizing our common approach to economic and social problems and to foreign policy. We took them to Camp David for a dinner with Al and Tipper Gore, and held a state dinner at the White House with entertainment by Elton John and Stevie Wonder. After the event Hillary told me that Newt Gingrich, who had been seated at her table with Tony Blair, had said the charges against me were ludicrous, and meaningless even if true, and werent going anywhere.
At our press conference, after Tony said that I was not just his colleague but his friend, Mike Frisby, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, finally asked the question I had been waiting for. He wanted to know whether, given the pain and all the issues about my personal life, at what point do you consider that its just not worth it, and do you consider resigning the office? Never, I answered. I said I had tried to take the personal venom out of politics, but the harder I tried, the harder others have pulled in the other direction. Still, I would never walk away from the people of this country and the trust theyve placed in me, so Im just going to keep showing up for work.
In mid-month, as Tony Blair and I continued to build support around the world for launching air strikes on Iraq in response to the expulsion of the UN inspectors, Kofi Annan secured a last-minute agreement from Saddam Hussein to resume the inspections. It seemed that Saddam never moved except when forced to do so.
Besides plugging my new initiatives, I spent time working for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, which the Senate Republicans killed at the end of the month; swearing in a new surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, the director of the Centers for Disease Control; touring tornado damage in central Florida; announcing the first grants to help communities strengthen their efforts to prevent violence against women; and raising funds to help Democrats in the coming election.
n late January and in February, several White House staffers were called before the grand jury. I felt terrible that they had been caught up in all this, especially Betty Currie, who had tried to befriend Monica Lewinsky and was now being punished for it. I also felt bad that Vernon Jordan had been caught up in the maelstrom. We had been close friends for so long, and time and again I had seen him help people who needed it. Now he was being targeted because of me. I knew he hadnt done anything wrong and hoped someday he would be able to forgive me for the mess I had gotten him into.
Starr also subpoenaed Sidney Blumenthal, a journalist and old friend of Hillarys and mine who had come to work in the White House in July 1997. According to the Washington Post, Starr was exploring whether Sids criticism of him amounted to an obstruction of justice. It was a chilling indication of how thin-skinned Starr was, and how willing to use the power of his office against anyone who criticized him. Starr also nike air max 1 ubpoenaed two private investigators who had been hired by the National Enquirer to run down a rumor that he had been having an affair with a woman in Little Rock. The rumor was false, apparently a case of mistaken identity, but again, it reflected a double standard. He was using FBI agents and private investigators to look into my life. When a tabloid looked at his, he went after them.
Starrs tactics were beginning to draw the attention of the press. Newsweek published a two-page chart, Conspiracy or Coincidence, which traced the connections of more than twenty conservative activists and organizations that had promoted and financed the scandals Starr was investigating. The Washington Post ran a story in which a number of former federal prosecutors expressed discomfort not just with Starrs new focus on my private conduct, but with the arsenal of weapons he has deployed to try to make his case against the president.
Starr was particularly criticized for forcing Monica Lewinskys mother to testify against her will. Federal guidelines, which Starr was supposed to follow, said that family members should ordinarily not be forced to testify unless they were part of the criminal activity being investigated, or there were overriding prosecutorial concerns. By early February, according to an NBC News poll, only 26 percent of the American people thought Starr was conducting an impartial inquiry.


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