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William Bennett's being attacked for legal conduct :O)(33 posts)

William Bennett's being attacked for legal conduct :O)Live Steam
May 6, 2003 5:39 AM
Is this even more absurd that is seems? The guy likes to play the slots and gamble at the tables. There are two hugely profitable American cities that have legal gambling and some idiot checks his losses with the casinos and publishes this information in an article? Something is really wrong here. If I were him I would sue the casinos for revealing private business information without my approval.

This is just utterly ludicrous. It's not like he was in hock and had to take food out of the mouths of his children for goodness sakes. He kames good coin and can afford to lose at high stakes tables. There are a ton of professional athletes that have big gambling habits - MJ and Jaggar to name two. These guys are supposed to be role models. Why aren't they criticized for this?

The story was so slanted too. They counted his losses. Did anyone count his winnings? Does it even matter. Some jerk tried to equate this to the Monica scandal. Huh? Getting some "H" in the oval office, while conducting official business for our country, from a 20 year old intern, while you are married, does not equate. Clinton's indiscretions may have put our national security at risk were someone bent on using the information to blackmail him prior to it being "exposed".

This is going to get real ugly. The next election cycle is starting. The Dumocrats are desperate and it looks like they will stop at nothing. The rabid ones truly have no morality as far as I am concerned.
Amusing Toles editoon about this very topic:RhodyRider
May 6, 2003 6:00 AM
Agree that private behavior should be left private.OldEdScott
May 6, 2003 6:01 AM
It's nobody's business. I'm saddened that Bill Bennett has apparently lost millions of dollars to a compulsive gambling habit. Glad his family is still intact, and managing to 'pay the bills,' as his wife is quoted as saying.

Let's leave it alone. Even Bill Bennett is human. All Republicans are, except Dick Cheney. They make mistakes, they have terrible vices, they have hideous secrets they don't want revealed, just like Democrats and just like everyone. It was really sad to see all the dirty adulterous laundry flung out in public during the impeachment thing. I think all those high-level Republican adulterers should have gotten a pass on that, just as I thought Clinton should have.

For the record, I never thought George Bush's alcoholism and cocaine addiction was an issue either, since he apparently managed to overcome them years ago, and everyone's entitled to a second chance. Until I see him in public with white powder dribbling out of his nose, I'll continue to believe his addiction days are behind him.

I hope Bill Bennett gets help and overcomes his addiction too, and I look forward to reading his book on Vices and how to recover from them. It should be as insightful as his Virtues book, and helpful to those in similar dire straits.
Was it Cicero who perfected this style of criticism?RhodyRider
May 6, 2003 6:11 AM
Nicely done, OldEd. Maybe too subtle for some, however.
He couldn't get it past me ;O) nmLive Steam
May 6, 2003 6:17 AM
You do spin well :O)Live Steam
May 6, 2003 6:16 AM
Where is there evidence that it was compulsive? That puts a negative spin on it for sure. Are all those that gamble compulsive? Can people gamble for recreation and not be considered sick in some way? It is done illegally all over this country in offices and loading docks. Are all of these people sick and compulsive?
Why is gambling considered a vice if it does not effect ones daily existence? He could afford to lose what he lost. It's like a cycling junkie having 10 or 20 bicycles in his garage. If it does not hurt anyone, go for it.

The Clinton thing just does not equate and I don't care how you spin it. It was not a private affair once it entered the Oval Office during the performance of official duties. The blackmail issue was real. If he had some sexual compulsions that were uncontrollable he put us all at risk. Who knows what or where he did what he did.

Bennett's actions are not just legal. They are socially acceptable as well. If not let's close down Vegas and Atlantic city. Until then I say he did nothing wrong.

Hey did you forgive Al Bore for his drug use? Rumor has it he was blowing dubes in the halls of Congress and snorting coke in the bathrooms:O)
Oh well. As you point out so felicitously,OldEdScott
May 6, 2003 6:23 AM
I'm rabid and have no morality. So I'm liable to say any damn thing.
Ah you picked up on my subtlety :O)Live Steam
May 6, 2003 6:55 AM
I don't want to believe that you would purposely slant something to make it appear worse than it is in attempt to defame someone. That would truly be disappointing Ed. You don't come off that way to me. It must be the Bourbon talking :O)
Steam, you are many things butOldEdScott
May 6, 2003 7:03 AM
subtle is not one of them. A bulldozer, now that's subtle.
It must have something to do with being ...Live Steam
May 6, 2003 7:43 AM
a Newyawka! :O) Hey I've tried being subtle here, but I generally suffer for it. I never want to argue and stir resentment. I prefer debate. I think that is why many of us visit this board more vs the General Cycling board. How many times can one discuss the virtues of Presta vs Schrader or Campy vs Shimano :O) Hey I'm not knocking it. Everyone has the right to learn and ask questions!
Isn't live steam a laundy term?OldEdScott
May 6, 2003 7:44 AM
May 6, 2003 7:44 AM
It may be, but that's not ....Live Steam
May 6, 2003 8:08 AM
why I chose the handle. I love trains! All types. I have a rather extensive collection of "O" scale brass locomotives and cars. I love the history of how this nation developed on the spine of the railroad and the great men that invested in them. Many were admittedly cut throat wheeler dealers, but they were also visionaries.

I think my love affair started when I was a kid and my father took us on a few round trips to Florida by rail. That was the early 60s. Eating in the dining car while watching the landscape whisk by, sleeping in berths and awaking in the middle of the night to check the station we just entered, was really impressive to me. The shear power of a huge locomotive pulling sleek streamliners left a tremendous impression. The railroad, both for passenger use and for hauling freight, is romantic and awe inspiring :O)

Oh, live steam references coal and wood stoked locomotives :O)
Steam engines...rwbadley
May 6, 2003 10:05 AM
A few years back an extremely large old steam engine came through Reno on its way west. It stopped here for a day or two then moved on.

I pulled my then seventh grade son out of school so we could go see it take off west. This thing was really cool. The wheels were over head high in diameter. Lots of neat noises. I had an old motorbike, and we took off in pursuit. We caught the train in a scenic spot going over the Sierras. We were lucky with our timing, and rode for about a mile and a half within a hundred yards alongside the snorting beast. This was impressive beyond words.

I had to ask my son to lay low on mentioning this event to his Ma, as she might not see the value in his being out of school. I'm pretty sure that he will remember that day alongside the steam engine for the rest of his life, while it being unlikely that sitting in school that day would have had the same effect!

Wow! Now that's definitely a cool ...Live Steam
May 6, 2003 11:05 AM
Dad thing to do :O) He will certianly never forget that I am most certain. Over 70 inch drive wheels and huge drive rods cranking under tremendous force and steam hissing and burping out of a gazillion places :O) No he won't forget that day on the back of the bike with Dad. Did he get an itch for model railroading?

By the way if it had a big orange stripe on her it was the Southern Pacific Daylight GS-4 #4449. She has a 4-8-4 wheel configuration with 80 inch diameter drive wheels, weighs over 440 tons and has a tractive effort of over 71,000lbs. If that is what you saw, she is probably the most beautiful steam locomitive ever to ride the rails.
Funny, but I did own a laundromat ...Live Steam
May 6, 2003 8:10 AM
for six years. We didn't have any steam there though. Just lots of quarters :O)
Lovit! "Dick Cheney, terrible vices, hideous secrets" LMAO _ nmrwbadley
May 6, 2003 6:40 AM
May 6, 2003 7:04 AM
Who said he needs help or has an addiction?

He may have gambled $8 million over the years, but that doesn't mean he lost $8 million. That figure only counts withdrawals he made, and doesn't count any winnings. Unless he has extraordinarily bad luck, he didn't lose all that money. In fact, he claims that he has come out about even. He may be or aspire to be a high roller, but isn't it kind of arrogant to suggest that he is a compulsive gambler and needs help?

Personally, I find the guy annoying and preachy, but fair is fair. He did nothing illegal. He did nothing unethical. He did nothing unvirtuous.
For his family's sake, andOldEdScott
May 6, 2003 7:16 AM
for his own peace of mind (I'm sure he's troubled by all this, as anyone would be) I hope this paragraph from the Newsweek story that mentions $8 million in LOSSES is just more erroneous liberal media bias:

Some of Bennett's losses have been substantial. According to one casino source, on July 12 of last year, Bennett lost $340,000 at Caesars in Atlantic City, and on April 5 and 6 of 2003 he lost more than $500,000 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Some casino estimates put his total losses over the past decade at more than $8 million. "There's a term in the trade for his kind of gambler," says a casino source who has witnessed Bennett at the high-limit slots in the wee hours. "We call them losers."

I also very sincerely hope that Bennett's claim to have 'about broken even' is in no way similar to the 'oh, I've about broken even' claims of the two compulsive gamblers I knew personally years ago, just before the 12-step program they entered showed them the pernicious nature of denial.

I suppose it's possible you can break even on slots over a 10-year period. The 10-percent automatic house take may not work against everyone.
Possible to break even....rwbadley
May 6, 2003 7:23 AM
The casinos didn't build those towers on your winnings. The likelihood of 'coming out even' over a ten year stretch is slim to none...
The probability approaches zero, exceptOldEdScott
May 6, 2003 7:39 AM
perhaps for the Virtuous.
Again who should judge his threshold of pain?Live Steam
May 6, 2003 7:57 AM
"There's a term in the trade for his kind of gambler," says a casino source who has witnessed Bennett at the high-limit slots in the wee hours. "We call them losers."

He is obviously very successful. I was surprised that such an obviously cerebral individual would find some enjoyment in pulling the lever of a One Armed Bandit, but maybe his day to day stress causes him to seek something inane that does not require thought. The story didn't say he did not partake in other gaming tables though so who knows.

The casino exec that made the previous statement must realize that "losers" is what keeps them in business. Again the whole article is based on conjecture. No one knows what the sum total of his winnings and losses are. The casinos may have a pretty good idea as high rollers are rated and tracked, but who cares? It's not illegal. He is not a religious guru as someone intimated. He may espouse being virtuous, but gambling is not a sin!
What a hypocrite!Dwayne Barry
May 6, 2003 6:26 AM
Didn't he write a book of Virtues or some such nonsense? I thought gambling was a no-no to religiosos like him? That's why it matters, and somebody published it. And what's this got to do with elections, does Bill Bennett hold an elected position?

For some reason he has always rubbed me the wrong way, and it's certainly not some "liberal" bias, as I can listen to William F. Buckley, or O'reilly (unless he's being really ridiculous) all day.
Justification is what smellsIFTreedog
May 6, 2003 6:30 AM
Bennett has nothing to be ashamed of, except that high-roller gambling on the slots is a pretty boring way to lose money. Why not bet on horses or college basketball instead? At least that takes some social skills. You know...talking to people and stuff...I mean, how hard is it to sit in a leatherette stool and yank your crank?

Well, anyway, the point in all of this is that Mr. B justified it by saying that it was legal, he wasn't hurting anybody, and that it's his own g'ddammed beeswax. Which is funny, because that's what a lot of potsmokin', pornosurfin', Judy-Garland lovin' ferret farmers have been saying about their 'vices' for years.

By the way- Tyler Rocks!
I've always been impressed that The Brother's Karamazovcarnageasada
May 6, 2003 6:40 AM
arguably the greatest novel on ethics ever written was penned by a drunken, compulsive gambler. Crime and Punishment got it's start when Dostoyevsky had to pay off a gambling debt. Bennet is just following a fine tradition of ethical writers. Those who dance with the beast know him best.
He Left that chapter out of the "Book of Virtues"Alpedhuez55
May 6, 2003 10:19 AM
It is one thing to like to spend a few hours at the Nickel Slots a couple of times a year and another to drop $8,000,000. I think he is being a pretty big hypocrite here. In Nevada it is legal to go to Bunny Ranch and blow $50K on hookers, does that make it moral or virtuious?

This is not as bad as Jim Baker, Jesse Jackson & Jimmy Swaggart. At least he was gambling his own money. But it makes you lose some respect for Bennett.

Mike Y.
He Left that chapter out of the "Book of Virtues"Live Steam
May 6, 2003 11:16 AM
I am not sure the amount is relevant to you or I. That amount is a lot of shekels, but everything is relative. The time frame and the amount may not add up to much for someone who may make that up in relatively short time. Again his winnings were not published. I do not think the figure was net losses. Who knows and who cares. I can't equate his gambling to a visit to the Chicken Ranch. Bingo is a form of gambling and is played in thousands of churches around the country. Paying for sex, while legal in some places in the world, is generally frowned upon by even the most liberal minded thinkers in the World. Am I right about that Ed? :O) It's really not the same?
Like gambling, paying for sex is fine with me.OldEdScott
May 6, 2003 11:29 AM
I guess I'd have some questions about paying eight MILLION for sex though. Seems a little obsessive.
Gambling is a ViceAlpedhuez55
May 6, 2003 12:35 PM
All I am saying is Gambling is a vice, like sex, druggs or alcohol. It can be addictive to some people. Obviously his Moral Compass is pointing him to the one armed bandits.

There is nothing wrong with driking Alcohol in moderation. The same is true of gambling. Unless you are worh a few billion, anyone who loses 8 Million has a gambling problem.

Gambling does not make Bennett a bad person. But he does put himself on a pedestal with his writings though. I think this story brings him down a little bit. It also makes him a bit of a hypocrite.

Mike Y.
Great topic, 'Steam!!....Butcycleaddict
May 6, 2003 11:12 AM
your argument fails the big test.


We do not pretend to be saints. You love to bash Bill C., but remember that he did not run on a platform written by Jerry Faldwell. That's the problem with the current batch of liars in the Whitehouse--they hold themselves up as "honorable and dignified". We are finding out, little by little that they are niether. Will the American people care enough to vote them out? Maybe, but I don't hold out much hope.

I have a T-shirt that says "Newt happens when 26% of the people vote".
:O) Thanks! I like that T-shirtLive Steam
May 6, 2003 11:26 AM
It is always those that do not vote that usually have the most complaining to do.


Hey I have been known to act that way in the past, but it is what one does in their present state of mind that matters. Your friend Bill did not leave his indiscretions at the door to the Oval Office. I think this is what got most people angry. Have some respect for the position, the history, the office and most importantly those who elected you to it. Don't take advantage of it by playing on the emotions of a 20 year old intern. I am sure he had no plans of leaving Hillary for her. He was just using her.

I really wanted to like Clinton after he beat GB41. He was the first President I could somewhat identify with because of his age and demeanor. But I felt he let me down. He was too obvious about his intent to use the Oval Office for his own personal gain. He was looking at the small picture. As I stated before, he could have been a great president, but he acted more like the President of a fraternity than the President of the most powerful nation on the planet. Just my opinion of course :O)
@#$ HOLD IT! Bennett attacked a NATION for legal conduct.cory
May 6, 2003 4:18 PM
That moralizing scold had the gall to preach to the entire COUNTRY about legal conduct, so who's he to complain now that the tables are turned? I agree he's being pilloried, but he can't very well cry foul over it.
I assume you are referring to Clinton's indiscretions ...Live Steam
May 6, 2003 5:40 PM
while leading the most powerful nation on the face of the planet. That's been discussed. Though what Clinton did was not technically illegal, it was immoral, irresponsible and it jeopardized our national security. He then lied before a federal judge about it. What else is there to say? Not quite the same thing don't you think? :O)