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William Bennett

Authored The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals, about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, as well as the ironically titled Book of Virtues.

Former drug czar, Education Secretary, and self-appointed moralist. You can see him occasionally on cable networks doing the pundit thing.

Regarding his video poker addiction:

"I've made a lot of money and I've won a lot of money... Over 10 years, I'd say I've come out pretty close to even... You may cycle several hundred thousand dollars in an evening and net out only a few thousand."

Since gambling in sight of others would tarnish Bennett's moral image, the casinos ushered him into private $500-a-pull high stakes rooms. Lost $1.4M in the span of a mere two months, and a cool half mil at the Bellagio in Las Vegas two days in April 2003. Despite his claims to the contrary about "breaking even", Bennett lost. He lost all the time. Morally, the Man of Virtue justifies this inveterate gambling by saying he "doesn't put his family at risk."

Timeline

31 Jul 1943 William J. Bennett born, Brooklyn NY.
1985 Appointed Secretary of Education by Ronald Reagan. Serves until 1988.
1989 Appointed Drug Czar by George HW Bush.
1990 What Bennett thinks should happen to casual drug users, ones that aren't even addicted to drugs: "Non-addicted users still comprise the vast bulk of our drug-involved population. There are many millions of them...Users who maintain a job and a steady income should face stiff fines...These are the users who should have their names published in local papers. They should be subject to driver's license suspension, employer notification, overnight or weekend detention, eviction from public housing, or forfeiture of the cars they drive while purchasing drugs."
Sep 1996 Author of The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. The irony of this will become apparent.
26 Jul 1998 Signed a Project for a New American Century letter to Bill Clinton, demanding tougher Iraq policy.
10 Jul 2001 "Hypocrisy is better than no standards at all." CNN Interview.
May 2003 Media reports surface that Bennett lost $8M (yes million) dollars gambling in the last decade. Even worse, it was primarily on electronic slot machines. "I have done too much gambling and this is not an example I wish to set. Therefore, my gambling days are over."
28 Sep 2005 While hosting his radio program Morning in America, Bennett's caller mentions the supposition that the lost revenue from aborted pregnancies in the last 30 years could cover the present cost of Social Security:
BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both - you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well -
CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.
BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could - if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.


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