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Today’s ‘newsmakers’ leave us wondering

We in the newsroom have been putting some perplexing headlineson some stories lately.

The headlines and accompanying stories are perplexing becausethey make you wonder just what the people involved in the newsevent were thinking when it happened.

I’m not talking about some obscure, oddball event like a manarrested at a Decatur, Ala., spouse-swapping swingers party (mypreacher uncle and aunt who live near there must be so proud) orthose people who skinny dip in frigid waters to mark some specialoccasion. I’m talking about supposedly intelligent people inrespected positions who should be able to figure things out.

The recent submarine collision with a Japanese fishing boat,while tragic, has been prime fodder for comedians and editorialcartoonists. Headline writers try to maintain a little moredecorum, but we still wonder sometimes:

“Navy acknowledges sub crew could have been distracted bycivilians.”

Yes, I know the civilians on board were part of some sort ofpublic relations campaign.

But did they really need to be on the bridge, in commandcentral, during sub operations? I think Sea World offers a betterview of underwater activity than the bridge of a submarine.

Of course, former President Bill Clinton and his supportersstill make their contribution to the daily news cycle. With”Pardon-gate,” brother Roger and brother-in-law Hugh, he andnow-Sen. Hillary continue to do more than their share to keep thiscountry confused and dismayed.

“Clinton controversies anger New Yorkers.”

We in the South have known for some time that the “Yankees” havebeen out of touch with reality when it comes to the Clintons.

Are they just now getting it? When they put Hillary in office,did they think that eight years of Clinton controversy wouldsuddenly and miraculously come to an end?

New York, the rest of the nation hates to say “We told you so”but, “We told you so.”

There are some who apparently still don’t understand thecontroversy and cling to a right-wing conspiracy theory. Take theformer President for example.

“Clinton ‘bewildered’ by new controversy.”

Gee, Mr. President, after absconding with White House silverwareand other goodies, you’re under investigation for allegedly sellinga pardon to a billionaire fugitive.

Brother-in-law Hugh gave back $400,000 for arranging otherpardons and your brother Roger admitted trying to get you to pardonsome of his “closest friends,” although how one comes to have”close friends” who need pardons is itself questionable. Not sinceBilly Carter has the White House been blessed with such good oleboy relatives.

And then there was that little incident about $700,000 a year toprovide you with office space in midtown Manhattan.

I’m sure all those are part of a routine presidential send-offand transfer of power.

Even with President Bush in office and getting headlines overhis tax cut and budget plans, another headline seemed to capturemuch of the country’s sentiment on the former President:

“This guy just won’t go away.”