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On Sabbatical


July 10, 1998

KEN BODE, host: Midsummer 1998 and we have discovered a nation of optimists. Yes, you. We'll tell you how we know and what it means tonight on WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW.

Announcer: This is WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW for Friday, July 10th, 1998.

Now here's moderator Ken Bode.

BODE: Good evening, and welcome to WASHINGTON WEEK.

Well, you are happy. The stock market is up, the price of gas is down. You feel confident about your future, and the politicians think that's good for their futures. And how do we know? The pollsters tell us so. Well, what about the rest of the world? When the president travels to China and Africa and Latin America, as he has already this year, what does he find out there? What's the state of world affairs? And what are we worried about? What do those Washington incumbents think they must fix before they go home to campaign full-time for the election in November?

And then there is the scandal. You out there tell the pollsters that you don't care about that, but it does keep working its way through the grand juries and the courts. Those stories and a roundtable about some sorry news from the world of journalism. Retractions, apologies and recriminations. What is going on?

Those subjects tonight on WASHINGTON WEEK, and with me to talk about them are the reporters and columnists who cover them. David Shribman of the Boston Globe, Gloria Borger of US News and CBS News, Tom Friedman of The New York Times, and Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times.

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Analysis: Americans' views on President Clinton and the economy

KEN BODE, host: Doyle, you're in charge of the national mood tonight, so let me first of all quote to you what The Washington Post said on its front page the day it marked the first 100 days of the Clinton presidency back in 1993. Quote, "The first 100 days of Bill Clinton's presidency have diminished public expectations that he or anyone else in Washington can do much to turn around a country that seven out of 10 voters think is going in the wrong direction."

Doyle, you've gone through a lot of trouble to take the pulse of America. And you say that is absolutely no longer true.

Mr. DOYLE McMANUS (Los Angeles Times): Ken, what a difference five years of good economic results can make. This is--this is summertime. We spend a lot of time on this program talking about bad news, things that are coming down the pike that we have to worry about. Let's kick back a little bit and talk about good news. Americans are both optimistic and confident in the nation's future and their own. Those numbers on wrong track. You said seven out of the 10 said we were going on the wrong track. The number this spring at one point was the exact opposite, seven out of 10. That's--that's abnormally high. Seven out of 10 said we're on the right track as a country. We're not quite that high now, but nobody ever expected us to even see that kind of number.

The numbers on personal confidence are even better. Seventy percent of the population thinks that the economy is getting better and that they're going to be better off in--in five years. A couple of interesting things about this. It took five years of economic growth to get us here. People didn't want to believe it the first time around. But now after five years, people are looking at their 401(k), there's a little bit of a comfort th--zone there. It's not just the economy. The country's at peace. The crime rate is down. As you said, the--the--the price of gas is down, the budget balanced. We never thought we'd see that. And finally, Mark McGwire is on his way to maybe 67 home runs.

BODE: And maybe not just Mark McGwire either.

Mr. McMANUS: Yeah. That's right. We may have three record-breaking or two record-breaking home-run hitters. This is a pretty good country to be living in right now.

Mr. THOMAS FRIEDMAN (The New York Times): Doyle, what do people worry about?

Mr. McMANUS: What do people worry about? They do worry about their kids' futures. It's interesting. If you--if you look at--and if you look at the split between who's happy and who's less happy, college-educated people are the ones who are driving this happiness index. Folks without a college education are seeing that they're a little bit vulner--vulnerable in this global economy. They're not--they're not as happy.

Ms. GLORIA BORGER (US News & World Report; CBS News): So what happens when you have a little bit of an economic downturn, as some people say you might have? I mean--and then is somebody just going to sort of switch and say, `Oh, God, things weren't as good as we--as we thought we were'?

Mr. McMANUS: Is it going to swing right back?

Ms. BORGER: Is it totally tied...

Mr. McMANUS: No.

Ms. BORGER: that?

Mr. McMANUS: It's not--it's not totally tied, Gloria. The--actually, the--the economic forecast looked pretty good, but the other piece of psychology that has changed is that 10 and 20 years ago, Americans expected to have a constant boom in the economy. They expected every year was going to be a lot better than the last, based on our experience in the '50s and the '60s. That turned around in the late '60s and '70s when we had stagflation and--and high unemployment.

Now when you ask people, `What are your economic expectations,' they say. `If things stay about where they are, I'll count that as pretty good.' So what we've actually had is a revolution of lowering expectations...

Ms. BORGER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. McMANUS: ...and we're doing better than those low expectations.

Mr. DAVID SHRIBMAN (Boston Globe): Now, Doyle, you hear America singing--or at least humming--do you think we'll look back and say, `These are the good old days'? Does it ever get better than this?

Mr. McMANUS: I hope not. I hope we have better days. But in terms of baseball...

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right.

Mr. McMANUS: ...I think we might think these are the good old days.

BODE: Let's go back to the 30 percent who don't feel like they're doing very well. I remember back in 1996 campaign, Robert Reich, when he was secretary of labor, said, `There is this group of people who don't have a college education, don't even have a high school education who for almost two decades have had no progressive advancement of income or in their social economic status.' Are those the people that are now the pessimists?

Mr. McMANUS: They are--they are the now pessimists. In fact, there's a--there's a very interesting economic debate. They are doing a little better, too. A rising tide lifts almost all boats. They're not seeing as much. They're looking around in a comparative basis. They know they're not doing as well as--as everybody else. On the political scene, this has an interesting kind of double-edged effect. On the other hand, this is a--this is a perfect time to do something for those people. The polls show that more of the public is willing to spend tax money on redistributing income, on education, on health care than before. People aren't so anxious to cut taxes because--because they're doing OK. But on the other hand, the pressure on politicians to change things is off. Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster, said that he looked at these numbers and he had to go to his Republican clients and say, `Forget the politics of anger this year. There's nobody angry out there.'

BODE: All right.

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Analysis: Economic state of the rest of the world in comparison to the United States

KEN BODE, host: Tom Friedman, while the president was off in China--I know our viewers understand perfectly that you're one--only on this program once in a while because you were in India, Italy, Israel, Albania, and Jordan during that period of time. I want a reporter's notebook from you on this sort of thing. Are things as good in places like that as Doyle reports they are here?

Mr. THOMAS FRIEDMAN (The New York Times): Well, I--I can report that the angry people are all out there, you know? You know, whenever I get home from a trip, my wife always says, `So how was it?' And I always say, `You know, honey, the wheels--the wheels aren't on tight out there' in a lot of places I go to.

You go to Albania, 80 percent of the cars on streets of Albania, it is estimated, are stolen from somewhere else in Europe. Tax cheating is so rampant in Albania that the 35th highest taxpayer in Albania is an Albanian-American pizza parlor. You go to Moscow, go down to the front desk of the hotel to put your money in a safe deposit box, they tell you they're all taken. It's like the answer to a "Jeopardy" question. How do you know when you're in a really dangerous city? When all the safe deposit boxes are taken. So I find that out there, there's a lot of countries--'cause they're struggling, basically, to get up to where we're going and it's hard and they're falling behind.

Another reason you've got a--a--a lot of anger out there, is that a lot of the reason we're doing well is because a lot of other people are doing less well in this sense. We're doing great because oil prices are down. Kills the Arab wor--Arab oil producers. We're doing great because Asia's flat on its back and our tennis shoes and our s--our T-shirts that we're importing from them are--are much cheaper. Interest rates are down here because lower oil prices and lower demand. We've all had the biggest tax cut in history, basically, in the last few years, because of lower interest rates. So that's another factor.

But lastly, I--I'd just make one other point, and it really falls on Doyle's, you know, we are--I like to say of America, `We're like the Michael Jordan of the geopolitics now.' We're kind of the winner take all, and Michael Jordan he is really good. I mean, he's great. But Michael Jordan is nothing without the rest of the NBA.

Ms. GLORIA BORGER (US News & World Report; CBS News): Hmm.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: And we're nothing without the rest of the world, you know. And that's really, I think, what we've got to start thinking about.

Ms. BORGER: But to stick with the--Michael Jordan for a second, he's real popular. Are we?

Mr. FRIEDMAN: Yeah. Well, I mean, that's a--that's a good question. What I really find out there is that wha--the anger, you know, that one senses right now, and the frustration, maybe the 30 percent who aren't in the game, is--is not so much from the people who are like in total poverty at this stage in the game. You know, with all due respect to the revolutionary theorists, the wretched of the Earth, they don't want to burn down the IMF. They want to go to Disney World, OK? They want to be in the game. But the anger--the anger comes from those who got in the game.

In Thailand, in Indonesia, in Korea, and at a game kicked them, you know, right in the head. And now they're reeling from that and there is a--how that's going to come out is not clear to me. You know, we--we've really learned--it's--it's fairly easy--or reasonably easy to get your country from kind of $500 per capita income to $3,000, but to go from $3,000 to $17,000, $18,000, boy, that's hard. That requires a lot of change.

Mr. DAVID SHRIBMAN (Boston Globe): Tom, things are--things are great here, not so great in places you--you've been visiting. Is it in our interest to spread the good times around a little bit? Is there something we should be doing to preserve our own good times and our own future?

Mr. FRIEDMAN: I'm a firm believer in that. I'm a firm believer that we are the society that benefits most from globalization, but you need sustainable globalization.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: So when--you know, when the president comes to Congress and says, `Hey, we need money for the IMF, you know, to maybe build a little safety net.' You know, and the Congress says, `Ah, IMF, forget it. It's giveaway.' Or you know, maybe we should pay our UN dues? `The UN, they don't even speak English there,' you know? I mean, that kind of churlish, I think, ingrown behavior, that's going to really bite us in the bottom one day, David.

BODE: Tom, I have to ask you one question.


BODE: You were in India. During the time--just before you went there, India set off a series of nuclear tests. Was this still as popular a public policy act when you got there as it was when we first witnessed it?

Mr. FRIEDMAN: Ken, I was really struck. The answer to your answer is yes. Everywhere I went, I kept looking for that Indian who was going to say to me, whether it was in the village or in the opposition party or in the government--who was going to say, `You know, that--this was really stupid. We've got people who are starving here and we did this.' I didn't find that person.

BODE: Not one person?

Mr. FRIEDMAN: And I didn't find--I'm sure they're there and they're probably there by the millions in a country of 900 million people. But I was struck at how deeply popular the test was and how deep ran the mood in India that there is a China-US conspiracy to basically divide up power in Southeast Asia and leave India out.

BODE: All right.

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Analysis: Congress' efforts regarding HMOs

KEN BODE, host: Gloria Borger, it falls to you to sort of bring the bad news: What's really vexing the voters? There's always one issue that both parties decide they've got to fix before they go home, and for a while it seemed to be tobacco. And now both parties have discovered that voters are once again annoyed about health care. Here's Democratic Minority Leader Senator Tom Daschle.

Senator TOM DASCHLE (Democratic Minority Leader): (From Wednesday) Victim after victim, problem after problem, hospital and doctor from all over the country complain to the Congress that they are being shut out from very critical health decisions that must be made in the best interest of the patient, not the bottom line.

BODE: Seems that on Capitol Hill, Gloria, managed care, HMOs, are just not very popular. So now we get both parties talking about a patients' bill of rights.

Ms. GLORIA BORGER (US News & World Report; CBS News): Right. You know, you don't have to be a rocket scientist or a political strategist to figure this one out. It's very easy. You have 160 million Americans in this country who are enrolled in some form of HMO, polls show that nine out of 10 Americans would prefer a member of Congress who sa--who says that he will rein in HMOs. So it's really no surprise. Congress being the nation's greatest lagging indicator, would be running to do something about this problem.

The Democrats discovered this issue first. You heard Bill Clinton talk about it at the convention last time saying that you know, `Mothers ought to be able to stay in hospitals a little bit longer after they give birth.' The Democrats said, `We've to to oversee these HMOs.' Republicans said, `You're crazy. It's not a good issue. You know why? People are going to object to that because it's more government bureaucracy, more government intervention.' And what the Republicans discovered was, `Wait a minute. There's another bureaucracy the voters don't like, and the bureaucracy is the HMOs.' And so the Republicans had to change their tack, now they're coming up with a bill that will compete with the--with the Democrats' bill and there'll be a discussion and I think some legislation.

Mr. DAVID SHRIBMAN (Boston Globe): Gloria, what's the big difference between the Republican approach and the Democratic approach here?

Ms. BORGER: Well, the Democrats say you ought to be able to sue your HMO if you believe that you are denied the health care you should have gotten, that if you were denied the access to the health care you should get. They also say you walk into an emergency room, if it's not the emergency room that's covered by your HMO but you're sick, it ought to be covered. You also ought to be given access to the specialists that you need. The--the Republicans wouldn't disagree with the access issue to the specialists, etc., but the liability question is the big issue. They don't want you to sue your HMO and they also want to cap the amount you can get if you sue your doctor for malpractice. So you see the fight shaping up which is the Democrats will say the Republicans are pro-insurers, and that's the fight we're going--we're going to be watching.

Mr. THOMAS FRIEDMAN (The New York Times): What do you think will be the synthesis--or what--what do you think will come out of this?

Ms. BORGER: I--I think there's going to be--if you're--if you're looking for a solution--I think people really are--it might be that there would be an appeals process of some kind that you could--that you could go to. I think the liability issue, as I was saying, is key. The question, of course, Tom, is as ever: Would you rather have the solution or would you rather have the issue to take to the voters in the fall?

BODE: But, Gloria, there's something even before that, it--it seems to me. Now the charge is that HMOs make their money by withholding care.

Ms. BORGER: Right.

BODE: You--you say you can't--can't get this, it's not covered. Dental's not covered. Eyeglasses are not covered, something like that. You know, the question is: Do you appeal it or do you sue? That's not what Americans want to hear, `Do you appeal or sue?' They want it covered.

Ms. BORGER: They--they want to get the coverage. And what the insurance industry is say, `OK, fine.' And some Republicans are saying, `OK, fine. You want to get the coverage, you're going to have to pay for it, folks, and it's going to cost you a lot more money.' And I think that is going to be the--the crux of the matter.

BODE: But isn't this the right time to do something like that?

Ms. BORGER: Absolu...

BODE: The--you know, Doyle tells us about the great economy and what have you. Instead of forcing 800 numbers on us with no--when you never can get anybody on the phone at the other end of the 800 number, why not do something about it?

Ms. BORGER: I--I detect--I detect you've been there, Ken.

BODE: Oh...

Ms. BORGER: Yeah. Absolutely. As--as Doyle was saying, this is the time when politicians believe actually they might be coming to--with some solutions for these in--almost intractable issues. But the question is: the Democrats will say, `Well, it's not enough if you don't give the liability issue. If you don't allow people to sue their HMOs, then it--then it all has no meaning.' And so I think that's going to be the fault line.

Mr. DOYLE McMANUS (Los Angeles Times): Well--so to go back to the bottom line you opened up. At the end of this session of Congress this year, are we going to have some kind of solution, or are we just going to have the issue?

Ms. BORGER: I can't predict. I believe that at the end of these congressional sessions, when nothing gets done, members tend to like to have something to take home to the voters. So I would say you might have a more circumscribed package than the Democrats would like.


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Analysis: Secret Service testifying to a grand jury

KEN BODE, host: To take us on our weekly tour of the grand juries and the courthouses, we have David Shribman, the Washington bureau chief of the Boston Globe. This week, David, the court said that Ken Starr could compel the Secret Service to testify. And in a rather surreal situation, we have Linda Tripp testifying in Washington, DC, on the Monica Lewinsky grand jury...

Mr. DAVID SHRIBMAN (Boston Globe): Right.

BODE: ...and the possibility that Monica Lewinsky will have to go to Maryland to testify in the Linda Tripp grand jury.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right. So we have a combination here of the...

BODE: Where's the Mad Hatter?

Mr. SHRIBMAN: We have the combination here of the important and the ironic.

BODE: Right.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: The important--the important, of course, is the Secret Service decision. It gets to the heart of the relationship between the Secret Service and the people they're supposed to protect. The ironic, of course, is the Lewinsky--possibility that Lewinsky, who is trying so desperately apparently not to appear before the Starr grand jury may, in fact, appear before a grand jury, but a different grand jury in a different setting in Maryland. Now the whole question that she may be cited for is whether the secret tapes that Linda Tripp made are, in fact, illegal tapes. That's a question that's going to be taken up by a grand jury in Maryland.

The important case--the important situation here that happened this week was the supreme--was the Secret Service decision. The Secret Service throughout our history, but especially since Dallas in 1963 has had a specially close and almost intimate relationship with the president of the United States that where he goes, they go. And they're a little bit like the wallpaper. They don't want to be noticed particularly, but they see everything, they hear everything, they just don't want to say anything. The question here is: Can the Secret Service keep a secret? They--and this is the question that Starr has put to the--to the--to the grand jury and really to the whole political establishment. Are you going to make these--these--these folks keep secrets?

Mr. THOMAS FRIEDMAN (The New York Times): David, what is the secret he's looking for?

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Well, nobody knows what--the secret he's looking for, but it probably involves what kind of relationship or how much time did President Clinton spend with Monica Lewinsky. It's a question that they may have the answer to and that others may not. And so the--we're talking about two--basically, two Secret Service employees perhaps being compelled to testify on this. There may be an appeal on this. We still don't know the answer on that.

BODE: David, if a federal law enforcement official witnesses an illegal act, is he or she not obligated to bring that information forward anyway?

Mr. SHRIBMAN: President Bush says no. President Clinton says no. President Ford says yes. President Carter says yes. It's a 2-2 split for you. It's the--one of the--one of the big arguments here. Now the--the three-person appeals panel found--and this is at the center of this whole controversy--that the Secret Service itself doesn't ask for an oath of confidentiality from its own employees. So if they're not asking them to be--to have a confidential relationship, why shouldn't Starr be able to yank these folks before the grand jury?

BODE: If President Nixon's tapes--his own voice in the Oval Office--had to be submitted to the grand jury, to the court...

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right.

BODE: ...why would we think that the Secret Service wouldn't have to--to do that?

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Well, the Secret Service will argue, Ken, that their--that their ability to protect the president would be jeopardized if the president's trust in them were--were undermined.

Ms. GLORIA BORGER (US News & World Report; CBS News): But we're talking about a Secret Service in a--in a closed environment protecting the president in the Oval Office.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right. Right.

Ms. BORGER: When was the last time somebody tried to sort of attack the president in the Oval Office? I mean, it's in large groups.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right.

Ms. BORGER: It's in--it's in crowds. It's in...

Mr. SHRIBMAN: That gets to what may be the solution here, that may be the common ground and the easy way out of this, is that the people that Starr wants before the grand jury are uniformed Secret Service employees. There's a whole other kind of Secret Service employee, the kind of legend--the kind from legend and lore who kind of is--is in the crowd quietly on a--on a motorcade and...

Ms. BORGER: Clint Eastwood.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Clint Eastwood. These are...

Ms. BORGER: Right.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: These are--these are plain-clothes agents. And maybe the solution here is to have the plain-clothes agents exempt from testimony and let the uniformed agents testify.

BODE: That would have to be a deal between a special prosecutor and the--the Justice Department...

Mr. SHRIBMAN: That's correct.

BODE: ...however, the Secret Service.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: That's right.

BODE: The uniformed Secret Service agents are those people we see standing around the White House...

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right.

BODE: ...when we go to the White House to take friends on tours of the White House or something like that, right?

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Exactly. Right. Yeah.

BODE: They're the ones who might have been standing outside the Oval Office witnessing some kind of...

Mr. SHRIBMAN: Right. They're also the ones who are in cars that say Secret Service on them.

BODE: OK. All right.

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Analysis: Trust within and toward the media

KEN BODE, host: We're going to skip the possibility of Monica Lewinsky testifying at Linda Tripp's trial and--blah, blah, blah--for this week, and I think our viewers probably will be happy to hear that we are going to skip it. We'll see if it happens.

This week CNN apologized, retracted, put out a full report on its mistake in charging a deadly gas was used in the Vietnam period against American defectors. The Cincinnati Enquirer paid Chiquita Brands $10 million before it was even asked to do so. New Republic fired somebody who made up 30 stories or so. The Boston Globe fired a columnist. Something is in the water and it's very troubling to the public, very troubling to us as journalists. Your thoughts on this, guys?

Mr. DOYLE McMANUS (Los Angeles Times): Ken, to me, the scary thing to me is that all of us in journalism depend on the honesty of our colleagues. All those of us who are editors depend on the honesty of our reporters. We don't have the time and the people in this business to se--have two or three people rechecking every fact. And so, we're all vulnerable to a bad reporter, essentially, conning, swindling, the organization he or she works for. That, to me, is a common thread here. It is terrifically scary. We've got to do better.

Mr. THOMAS FRIEDMAN (The New York Times): Yeah. I--I would say I agree with what Doyle said. You know, my--my feeling, though, is that every, you know, profession has its bad apples. Doctors have bad apples. Lawyers have bad apples. And we've got our bad apples. We just happen to be in the business of writing about them much--much more than others. And especially, what's surprising--shocking, really, in the case of several of these people that they actually put more time into their plagiarism than into their journalism.

Ms. GLORIA BORGER (US News & World Report; CBS News): Right.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: I mean, they're--it's--it's the...

BODE: Stephen Glass, the New Republic writer.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you'd really think the--the time you put into that--and the real world is actually very interesting, you know, to write about. But a--what worries me about the Time/CNN thing, simply, is that that isn't just people going amiss, and--it happens in any profession. It's that there really was a corporate sort of push behind that to make a big splash because of a merger. And I find that troubling.

Mr. DAVID SHRIBMAN (Boston Globe): At the heart of what we do is a sense of trust: trust between us and the people we talk to, trust between us and the people for whom we write. I think that what's the scariest part of this whole thing, that we at the Globe have been terrified about, is a potential breach of trust. We found in our own case that there's been an enormous up--upsurge of confidence in us as a result of this whole situation. We have in our newsroom, kind of a motto, kind of a big poster on every pillar. And it says, `Accuracy is the carn--cornerstone of our business.' And I think the only antidote to all of this is to affirm to the people who are supposed to trust us and the people whom we trust that accuracy is the cornerstone of our business. And the answer to all of this is to go out and do a go--a g--a better job tomorrow and to put out a terrific newspaper.

Ms. BORGER: You know, I think people in this country are forgiving when you admit to your mistakes, and we have admitted to our mistakes, but it's also a problem for us because when you admit to a mistake, you lose credibility. And--and that--and that is an issue. And I think the more, in fact, you see news organizations coming out and correcting things and saying, `We made a mistake,' and--and running corrections prominently, CNN doing broadcasts about it, I think, in fact, that--that--that perhaps, you know, the American public will say, `Gee, sometimes the journalists admit when they get it wrong.' But we have to work to build up the credibility.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: It wouldn't be so...

BODE: You know, one of the--go ahead, David.

Mr. SHRIBMAN: It wouldn't be so terrible if the public began to believe that we were human, too.

BODE: One of the things that I've found interesting is, there's a lesson in here that the public doesn't really completely understand. In fact, many times I think print journalists don't understand it about television, and that is how collaborative television is. If you're a television--a working television journalist, as I have been for a long time, you have to know that your sound man, your cameraman, your producers, your desk editors, your editors who put the--the videotape together--they all have to be on the same track and they all have to be working as one and that shoulder has to be to the wheel. Peter Arnett did not get fired over this. It's a strange sort of s--thing that people can't quite seem to understand. I do. I do understand the limited role Arnett had in something like this. And I don't apologize for it, but I think it's really a difficult time for--for Arnett and CNN and I hope they get--get past it, get over it, a lot of good people there.

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Filler: Program note

KEN BODE, host: All right. For those of you, old friends of Paul Duke, Paul has reported an hourlong documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Berlin airlift.

Mr. DAVID SHRIBMAN (Boston Globe): Great.

BODE: It will be shown on most public television stations next week. So check your listings.

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Sign-off: Washington Week in Review

KEN BODE, host: That's it for tonight. Thanks to our panel for being here. Thanks to you for watching. Remember, you get seven days of news in 30 minutes on WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW.

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On Sabbatical!

When my office lease expired at the end of 2004, I decided to turn it into a "sabbatical" from my private practice. Many years ago, in my grandfather's 89th year of life, he told me, "John, it is important to smell the roses while you can still smell them." His life gave living a very good reputation. It is also true that the pursuit of that philosophy required my grandfather to to re-open his assay office/ore market in Wickenburg, Arizona as a 75-year-old because he had run a little short of retirement money. Thus, if blessed with his luck and health, I'll be back.. --jjh

Copyright 1998-2007  John J. Herr, Ph.D.                                   Please send comments to