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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/7/16

It's the Hill and Bill Show - Welcome back to the hillbilly White House!

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Hillary Clinton is not going to face criminal charges for deleting an estimated 30,000 emails on a private email server (or possibly, servers), as our Secretary of State.

F.B.I. Director James Comey gave Clinton and her aides a good verbal tongue-lashing the day after Independence Day 'rebuking them for being 'extremely careless' in the handling of classified information and (Comey also added that) the presumptive Democratic nominee should have known an unclassified email system was no place to conduct sensitive government business," according to CNN Politics.

I never would have dreamed Hillary would get off so easy. In fact, I had the F.B.I. hounding Hillary for a long, long time in another op-ed that appeared on this national progressive magazine the day before Independence Day. I take it that Hillary's Independence Day wasn't all that good, but the day after was quite an Independence Day. And this writer has come to the realization that a career in fortune-telling might not be such a good idea.

Richard M. Nixon was forced to resign as President because he erased 18-1/2 minutes of tape during the Watergate Scandal. I presumed that deleting 30,000 emails to be just as criminal and egregious, if not even more so, but boy did I guess wrong! I have the F.B.I. visiting Hillary at the White House like hounds on the hunt in my July 3 piece, if she indeed becomes President next January. What a Fourth of July hotdog!

Anyhow, it's like deja vu. It's like the good old days when Hillary's significant other was President and we were all charmed - but for the most part, alarmed - for eight years under the Hillbilly White House! The boy from Arkansas who dreamed of being President and became our 42nd President. The "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" jamoke. Yes, the "I never told anyone to lie, not a single time. These allegations are false and I need to go back to work for the American people," guy who is back knocking on the front door of that big, white, all important house, along with his own version of 'Ma Kettle'.

And wallah, all Americans became "hillbilly-ized" for a very long time over this scandal. That Monica Lewinsky affair that even superseded all of our own silly, stupid, trite affairs. And in the end, the Lady's Man was impeached on two charges, one of perjury and the other of obstruction of justice. This scandal drug on and on, and it all had to do with Bill Clinton's philandering with Monica Lewinsky and his testimony about the affair during a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones.

The entire surly and scabrous scandal made Independent Counsel Ken Starr a star, and for a good bit of time, most Americans knew this guy's name just by his face. Now, most Americans wouldn't be able to pick Starr out of a lineup of three men, and most wouldn't be able to recall his name. I guess all stars fade over a long period of time and become black holes. Or pulsars, or whatever....

Bill & Hillary Clinton - The future awakens for these two dysfunctional power trippers and their ever-going mess of 'hillbilly-ized' antics and scandals.
Bill & Hillary Clinton - The future awakens for these two dysfunctional power trippers and their ever-going mess of 'hillbilly-ized' antics and scandals.
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
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Our 42nd President was later acquitted of these charges by the U.S. Senate on Feb. 12, 1999. Two other impeachment articles -- a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of power -- failed in the House. So just like that old TV series most members got the pleasure of watching week after week, The Dukes of Hazzard, Bill Clinton rode his version of the stock car, The General Lee, into impunity; but man, did this guy give us all angst and headaches galore as we watched this scandal, its beginnings, its denouement and crescendo, and its ending. None of us were laughing, of course, like we did over the escapades of Bo and Luke Duke, and Starr and those feds were deadpan serious and not funny at all. They could never match Boss Hogg's proclivity of being humorous. But for some of us who are intrigued by such things, I guess the entire womanizing and lying-under-oath fiasco may have been entertaining.

I myself was very entertained by the hillbilly-ized antics of Hill in mid-April 2014 when the former Secretary of State was giving a speech at a Las Vegas hotel and some "unticketed guest" threw a shoe at Hillary. First of all, I was happy that Hillary Clinton was not injured in any way, but for a political junkie like me, I found this entire debacle of Hillary's failure to command an audience utterly fascinating. It was like the Kardashian girls gone hillbilly. You can't find such stuff on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And let's not be too hasty in judging Donald Trump for inciting audiences to do crazy, anti-social things. On a personal level, as a teacher, I always struggled with "classroom management" issues, so I found the shoe-throwing incident to be rather cathartic. So yes, Hillary can be a somewhat defective and defunct snake-charmer, too.

My friends in real time (none of them are journalists or politicians, by the way), have been after me about writing here and on other online mags that I write for - rebuking me for rebuking Hillary Clinton concerning her drinking problem. Well, I can't say for sure whether Hillary Clinton has a drinking problem. I've never enjoyed an alcoholic beverage with her. I've never gotten elbow-waving, knee-crawling drunk with the Old Girl. But there's been a lot of wind that such a monster exists. And yes, I am concerned about this - and I'll tell you why: If Hillary has a drinking problem, it will become America's problem. The whole family suffers when Mom or Uncle Phil have such a menace, and all Americans will be subjugated to this aspect of Hillary's personality, if she does, in fact, become our 45th President.

I have some friends in Alcoholics Anonymous that claim that calling oneself "an alcoholic" is a personal choice. But once one realizes that they have this problem, steps and measures can be taken to remedy this thing and it's not a disease that one totally gets over, but it can be arrested and put in remission, so to speak.

Whether or not Hillary Clinton has such a problem is immaterial. And maybe Ms. Clinton, if she indeed has such a problem, is addressing it the best way she can. But if Hillary takes America's Number One job, with all the stress, frustration, heartache and angst that goes with it, will she be able to handle all of this - if she indeed does have a drinking problem?

George W. suffered a similar dilemma, according to many accounts, and look what kind of a loose cannon and how out-of-sorts he was!

Of course, George W. Bush wasn't the first to have a bug that causes people to stagger and sometimes puke. Some of us, but not many, even have heartfelt feelings about W's "alleged" misdeeds in this area; just as others do concerning Bill Clinton and his womanizing. Boys will be boys, after all....

There were other Presidents with a penchant for booze, too. Too many others, actually. John Adams could really hang the Mardi Gras beads around John Barleycorn's neck. When he got into Harvard at age 15, he was regularly drinking beer for breakfast. Martin van Buren could drink for days and not show any signs of being intoxicated, so his friends gave him the nickname "Blue Whiskey Van." And if there are laurels for being "America's Biggest Drunk of a President" Franklin Pierce would be a shoe-in. Pierce drank hard like a sailor on leave the entirety of his adult life and kept this up right on through his presidency. Sam Greenspan's informational article on the "11 Drunkest Presidents" in U.S. History" on the web offering 11 Points includes some fascinating historical tidbits that aren't even taught in university history courses and is a compelling read. Sad to say, I'd categorize nine of these Presidents as "poor to mediocre" or in the vernacular speech of this particular article, "fair to middling'" on the 11 Points list, but LBJ and FDR made the list, too. Whether or not readers feel LBJ and FDR were "Great Presidents" is still up for debate, though. I guess it all depends on what side of the creek you're standing on and all. Overall, the jury's still out on this, and will be for time immemorial....

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Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)

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