Friday, September 29, 2006

Oliver's Twist, And Other Meanderings

Oliver North makes a very interesting (and perhaps surprising) observation on Clinton's recent hissy fit (in which Bubba fumed, "I worked hard to try to kill [Osama]. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him"). I haven't seen North's point made elsewhere:
To put this little piece of braggadocio in context, it should be noted that no other American president has ever admitted to such a serious violation of law. Although assassination is specifically forbidden as a course of action open to U.S. officials, including presidents, no one seems to have noticed what was being said--perhaps because they were so caught up with the theater of what was happening on the screen.

....The tape of a former president arrogantly proclaiming on international television that he personally authorized the assassination of a foreign foe may be great stuff for the screenplay of "Rambo V," but U.S. and international law specifically forbid it. Over the course of fighting the jihad being waged against us, Mr. Clinton's intemperate words will come back to haunt us many times over. And of course, he won't be the one to pay the price.
I don't completely share North's view on assassination. If we had been able to assassinate, say, Hiter, we would have been right to do so, in my opinion. But a ban on the practice is unquestionably a fact of current U.S. and international law, and Clinton does seem to be admitting a blatant violation of it. I personally wish he had taken out Bin Laden when he had the chance, but this kind of language--"We contracted with people to kill him"--is the language of La Cosa Nostra, not the presidency. If George W. Bush uttered those words, we'd never hear the end of the Left's caterwauling about his "arrogance" and his "cowboy" ways. When Bush merely said we wanted Bin Laden "dead or alive," they practically got the vapors. So where's the pique now?

In any case, will anyone be shocked to hear Clinton's talk of hiring hit men to whack Bin Laden used to justify future acts of terrorism against the U.S.?

Some other bits from around the web:
  • Nobody's been hitting President Bush harder than Pat Buchanan in recent weeks. Today he rips the president a new one on the economy--the one thing that seemed to be going rather well:
    America as the most self-sufficient republic in history is history. For decades, U.S. factories have been closing. Three million manufacturing jobs have disappeared since Bush arrived. Ford and GM are fighting for their lives.

    Bushites boast of all the new jobs created, but Business Week tells the inconvenient truth: "Since 2001, 1.7 million new jobs have been created in the health care sector. ... Meanwhile, the number of private sector jobs outside of health care is no higher than it was five years ago."
  • Slate has a piece from a baseball card fanatic who actually got to live out his childhood dream of working for Topps. Turns out it's pretty much just like working anywhere else:
    Upper management was a distant, nepotistic network descending from a mysterious, largely invisible septuagenarian CEO. Below that, departments feuded with other departments. Middle managers skirmished in snarky, caps-locked e-mails CC'd to higher-ups. "Good mornings" seethed with passive aggression.
  • And while we're at Slate, they also give the ever-tiresome Mitch Albom a much-deserved ripping:
    Albom is literally a teller of fables, a peddler of shallow morality tales for the masses. You can see it in his risible sports writing, and you can see it in his best-selling books. A representative of Starbucks, which will sell For One More Day as part of its new books promotion, told the Los Angeles Times that the chain wanted its literary selections to be "deeply felt." Albom's writing is deeply felt, and dimly thought. He's a huckster evangelist for the soccer-mom set.
    If you hate Albom (and you should), you'll find the review cathartic.
  • I've written about this before, but I can't remember where. But back in my sports radio days, I used to bump into Albom from time to time at the big events (i.e. heavyweight bouts, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, etc). The thing I remember most about him wasn't his writing, nor was it his broadcasting. It was his freakishly large head. He's a tiny guy--maybe 5-5, and his head seems to make up about a third of his body. To give you an idea, the sketch in the Slate review (at right) isn't a caricature--it's anatomically correct.

    All I know is that, of the first Five People I Meet in Heaven, this gargantuan cranium better not be among them.

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