Monday, April 14, 2003

When Slick Comes to Town

Something wasn't right in my neighborhood Sunday afternoon. My Spidey sense was tingling. There was an imbalance in the Force. I felt a Bart like shiver and wondered if I had the gift of The Shinning. What could it be that was causing such unease in my very soul?

In Twin Cities, Clinton has advice for Bush

That's it. Bill was in town. Not just in town mind you but in my 'hood just a hop, skip, and jump (over HWY 100) from my abode. In fact my wife and I had walked right past the venue that Clinton was to appear at earlier in the day and had noticed a significant police presence in the area. We had just assumed that Al Franken or Aaron Brown was making a homecoming visit.

In a wide-ranging talk at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, Clinton was more philosophical than political. The test of every public policy in the early 21st century should be whether it creates a more cooperative world based on shared values, benefits and responsibilities, he said.

Whether or not such policies actually are in the best interests of the United States is apparently not a factor for Bill.

Clinton placed the threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction at the top of his list of problems the United States must solve. He had few criticisms of Bush's policies so far. He hailed the November U.N. resolution that revived weapons inspections in Iraq, backed by a threat of military action if Saddam Hussein failed to cooperate. And he criticized the countries that later refused to authorize force because their stance "convinced Saddam Hussein that he could shuck and jive for a few more years."

Call me crazy but it might have been nice if Clinton has decided to address those problems during his terms as President. As to his criticism of the countries that allowed Saddam to "shuck and jive for a few more years" would not that be an accurate description of his administration's actions (or inactions) towards Iraq from, oh say 1993 to 2000?

He slammed the Bush administration for rejecting or withdrawing from several multilateral initiatives, such as the Kyoto Accords on global warming, the creation of an International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

"If you only join something when you got your way all the time, there would be no marriages," he said, "and there would be no synagogues."

Once you get done chortling over the concept that Bill Clinton is now lecturing on the make up of marriages and religious institutions consider that he had no intention of ever agreeing to the Kyoto Accords (voted down unanimously in the Senate) and had serious reservations about the ICC which lead to foot dragging and stalling during negotiations by his administration to ensure that the final decision would be passed on to the next administration. Now of course he likes to portray himself as the good guy mutilateralist in contrast to the "go it alone" unilateralism of the Bush administration.

Clinton's harshest criticism of his successor was over budgetary policy, especially what he called the "insane tax cut" Bush is pushing through Congress. Clinton said it would create huge deficits and require Draconian cuts in domestic spending.

The tax cut would make it impossible to fund Bush's "leave no child behind" education programs, which Clinton said would have to be renamed "leave all the money behind."

I guess to Clinton any action that would "leave more money in the wallets of taxpayers" rather than in the hands of the government is insane.

Speaking of money how much did Bill haul down for this little gig?

Clinton has given more than 200 speeches in more than 30 countries since leaving office in January 2001. He generally charges about $125,000 for a domestic address and more than $200,000 for foreign speeches.

If you figure that at least 30 of those speeches were foreign at $200k a pop and the other 170 domestic at $125k he's banked over $27 mil in just over two years time. I think those legal bills can finally be paid off.

Tickets ranging from $25 to $5,000 sold out well in advance of his Beth El appearance. The audience of 1,600 interrupted him several times with applause. About 200, who paid at least $1,000 per couple, dined with Clinton before the speech.

Dropping five large to hear Bill? I know it's a hoary cliché but can you say "limousine liberals"?