- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 28, 2002

Misunderstood misfit
We've just finished reading Joe "Primary Colors" Klein's new book, "The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton," which hits bookstores next week.
The publisher, Doubleday, promised us beforehand that we would be reminded of what we forgot and what history will remember about the nation's 42nd president. In other words, Mr. Clinton's "impressive" array of accomplishments:
The first president in 40 years to oversee a budget surplus.
Passed the Earned Income Tax Credit and tax credits for higher education.
Oversaw growth of funding for Head Start and child care supports.
Left office with the highest sustained job-approval ratings of any president except John F. Kennedy.
We'll leave it up to readers to decide whether the above accomplishments for a president permitted eight years in the Oval Office, only to be impeached are that "impressive," or for that matter historic.
But as Mr. Klein himself concedes: "Moral turpitude was part of the problem, of course. Even if Clinton had passed universal health insurance, tackled terrorism, solved the Middle East, and led a successful global effort against AIDS, the Lewinsky scandal and the outrageous gush of pardons granted on his last night in office would still cast an enduring shadow over his presidency."

Distortion all right
First sentence of The Washington Post's lead editorial yesterday, beneath the headline "Mistakes Were Made": "President Bush and Secretary of State [sic] Donald Rumsfeld have been indignantly protesting in recent days that the administration would never deliberately distort the truth in reporting to the public … "

Ear for an ear
Opposition to D.C.'s Boxing and Wrestling Commission's semi-decision to grant heavyweight Mike Tyson a license to box here in Washington is not confined to any one corner of the political spectrum, with everyone from conservative pundit Armstrong Williams to Terry O'Neill of the National Organization for Women expressing dismay about the prospect of a local Tyson match.
Now, Washington malpractice lawyer Jack Olender joins the chorus of criticism, but for reasons that have little to do with political ideology or political correctness. "I am an avid fight fan, but this match is a liability nightmare," Mr. Olender warns.
"Whenever Tyson fights there's trouble, and I see liability for the city from either lax or overzealous police activity, liability to the MCI Center for injuries on the premises, and so-called 'Dram Shop' liability of purveyors of alcohol for injuries caused by drunkenness. When you tally up the potential costs, the boost to city revenues from the fight isn't worth the potential costs," says the lawyer.
Although he concentrates on medical malpractice, Mr. Olender says he is willing to represent the champion, Lennox Lewis, if Mr. Lewis gets bitten during the fight.
"A bitten-off ear is not one of the risks assumed when entering into a boxing match. That's boxing malpractice," he tells Inside the Beltway.

Siberian Pole
It was no ordinary Catholic bishop celebrating Mass at Virginia's Christendom College on Monday. As of two weeks ago, the Most Rev. Jerzy Mazur, bishop of the Diocese of St. Joseph, located in Irkustk, Siberia, was appointed to oversee the largest Catholic diocese in the world.
In fact, the Polish-born bishop has jurisdiction of a land area that is larger than the United States, with a population of 16 million people 1 million with roots in the Catholic faith.
Despite objections from the Russian Orthodox Church, Pope John Paul II transformed four Russian church regions, known as apostolic administrations, into three dioceses and one archdiocese.
The main archdiocese is in Moscow, while the remaining three are in Saratov, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk.
In his homily, Bishop Mazur said the people of his diocese are very poor. Many were sent to Siberia "because of their faith in God, or because they were fighting for the truth and were, therefore, considered enemies of the Russian state."
Today, there are only 49 priests and 47 nuns in the Siberian diocese. Still, churches the Soviet Union turned into factories, stores, concert halls even museums of atheism are now slowly being restored to their holy state.

Final chapter
A "who's who" of official Washington will deliver eulogies at tomorrow's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for former Washington Times columnist Richard Grenier, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who died Jan. 29.
Eulogists will include former New York Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, Judge Robert Bork and Nixon Center President Dimitri Simes.
Services begin at 9 a.m. at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel.


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