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OTHER VIEWS

Here's what newspapers around the nation are saying:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

THAT BASIC QUESTION: Pouncing on every seeming contradiction, blowing out of proportion each conflicting recollection from the stressful period following the 1993 suicide of Vincent Foster, Republican senators tried mightily to build a detailed legal argument of malfeasance, deceit and conspiracy . . . in the amorphous scandal known as White-water. But no one has come up with a convincing answer to the basic question: What was the White House try-ing to hide? . . . No one has come up with anything even close to conclusive evidence of conspiracy or coverup. (And) those who talk about Foster's "alleged" suicide and hint darkly about skulduggery that extends to the innermost circle of the administration have shown no evidence to even indicate what they think was going on, much less prove it. . . . the time has come to stop an expedition in waters that have yielded no fish.

Los Angeles Times

MUSIC LIVES ON: Any band whose concerts draw stock-brokers, old hippies and the children of both has something to say. The Grateful Dead is such a band, and Jerry Garcia was its heart. It was fitting that radio stations played hours of Grateful Dead music this week as a tribute to Garcia; it was ironic, too, because they played so little of it while the guitarist and singer lived. The band thrived despite being ignored by mainstream radio because it toured for months each year and fans . . . the "deadheads" . . . attended concert after concert; some saw the band hundreds of times over the years. The music could be marvelous, with the same song sounding different each time. Even if Garcia's death means the end of the band . . . devoted to the 1960s ideals of peace, love and community . . . his fans will remain, with memories of three decades of music from the "summer of love" until today.

The New York Times

NEWT'S SHABBY PERFORMANCE: Two months have passed since House Speaker Newt Gingrich shook hands with President Clinton in New Hampshire on creating a commission to address political reform. The handshake held out the promise that, between them, the president and the capital's most outspoken Republican could break the cycle of resistance that has defied previous efforts to clean up the system of campaign financing that gives special interests a dominant role in shaping elections and legislation. Clinton has taken the handshake seriously. Gingrich, sadly, has not. All in all, this is a shabby performance (in which Gingrich) borrows from the discredited play-book of his Democratic predecessor, Thomas Foley, who claimed to want reform even as he was dooming it with delaying tactics.

The Dallas Morning News

DEFEAT GRAZING BILL: Congress should defeat - and President Clinton should veto, if necessary - the livestock grazing bills now being considered by Congress. The bills are an overreaction. They would block Clinton's efforts to improve the way America manages its public lands. They would promote overgrazing by continuing the government's subsidization of ranchers. The end result would be public lands that are less friendly to naturalists, hikers, recreational fishermen and others with legitimate stakes in how they are managed. This fight is not about preserving the traditional cowboy's way of life. The largest holders of federal grazing permits include large insurance companies, foreign conglomerates and rich industrialists. The Clinton administration has taken a more sen-sible approach. Why are these free-market Republicans work-ing against market-oriented solutions?