• Barbara Bashing

    The family-values debate has now enveloped First Lady Barbara Bush. Behind her image as a model mom, Mrs. Bush was really a "rich woman" who seemed "to enjoy her dogs more than her children," writes Marjorie Perloff in this week's The New Republic. Perloff, a Stanford professor, bases her case on her memory of the Bush family from the days when her daughter and the youngest Bush child, Dorothy, were fourth graders in Washington, D.C., in 1968. But memories can be faulty, and Perloff's piece contains a number of factual errors. Dorothy Bush, for example, was nicknamed " Doro" not " Dordie," as Perloff claims. Doro, for her part, has no memory of Perloff. " I can't imagine why she would say such things," she says.
  • Out Of Bounds

    GOP congressional candidate Mike Bailey of Indiana, for his anti-abortion TV spot comparing aborted fetuses to dead bodies in Nazi concentration camps. The so-called "Hitler" ad even offended GOP conservative Pat Buchanan-so much so that he canceled an appearance at a rally for Bailey. " I am horrified at the Holocaust," said Bailey. "We should never do that again, but I'm making the point that America has done the same thing." Bailey, who is running against incumbent Democrat Lee Hamilton, declined to pull the ad.
  • Score Card

    And you thought the sculpted, preening teens of " Beverly Hills, 90210 were insufferable. For those who couldn't care less about Dylan McKay, let's just say TV's current crop of "902 10" clones makes the original seem like " Masterpiece Theatre." PERI surveys the pretenders: overly sincere young Beltway types confront Real Life, "St. Elmo's Fire" style. But at least Judd Nelson isn't in it.The Melrose bunch with guitars instead of tans and money. Very working class. Very gritty. Very tedious.An Aaron Spelling high-concept vehicle: Lisa Hartman Black quits being a hooker; gains tenants. Big ratings means this summer run may be back.Basically, the Bev bunch five years later-and with even better hair. But if the characters were any dumber, they'd need fertilizer.Life in a coed dorm at a fancy-shmancy college in the Northeast (can you tell it's Toronto?). Coming in Oct. We can't wait.
  • Debating The Debates

    As I write it seems there may be some kind of presidential debates this year, but that there is only the smallest chance, if any, that there will be rigorous, informative exchanges of the kind recommended by the bipartisan commission that spent several years working on the subject. George Bush put the kibosh on that. He does not want to go one-on-one with Bill Clinton on the issues for 90 minutes directed and refereed by a single moderator. At the weekend he was still insisting on the old format of two candidates and a panel of (usually) four journalists to ask them alternate questions with an elaborate system of who gets how long to rebut and then rebut the rebuttal and so forth. It's too bad. The old form is much more susceptible to manipulation and conversation interruptus than the form the commission proposed and Clinton accepted. ...
  • Hillary Clinton

    If Bill Clinton becomes president, his wife, Hillary, will be the first First Lady of her kind: a successful career woman, as well as the mother of a 12-year-old daughter, Chelsea. Hillary Clinton grew up in a suburb of Chicago. She and Bill met when they were students at Yale Law School. Though she started out a Republican, she became a Democrat and an antiwar activist during her college years at Wellesley. Since marrying Bill, she's practiced law in Arkansas. She considers the rights of children her special cause and has said she will continue to work for kids if her husband becomes president.
  • Rx For Health Care

    COVERAGE:Wants to make health insurance affordable to nearly all Americans by giving vouchers to the poor and tax deductions to the middle class. No one would be denied coverage or lose benefits by changing jobs.COVERAGE:Wants universal coverage. Would require all employers to offer health benefits to workers and their families. The poor and unemployed would be covered through a publicly financed insurance pool.Extending benefits to the 36 million Americans who have no health insurance at all is a primary goal for both candidates. But both plans leave big questions unanswered.Administration officials admit that up to 5 million people probably won't be covered-and critics say the Bush plan, which would limit federal subsidies to $3,750 a year for a family, can't possibly cover the medical bills of those with chronic illnesses.Clinton promises to cover virtually everyone. But he doesn't say how he'll pay for it, and he provides no specifics on a crucial feature-his call for government...
  • Chicago Is Talking ...

    About a rash of assaults on women by at least one man posing as a police officer. In Morton Grove, Ill., last week, a 22-year-old female motorist was pulled over and accosted by a man in a dark uniform with a badge who drove a car with flashing lights. She fought off the fake cop and escaped. In two similar incidents earlier this summer women were abducted and raped. A fourth woman driver was stopped in southern Wisconsin last week by an impostor matching the description from previous attacks--tall, white, with brown hair and a mustache. Local officials are considering a crackdown on the sale of phony cop gear.
  • Video Veritas

    The popularity of "L.A. Law" prompted a surge of law-school applications. So it's only fitting that one law school has turned to TV to sort through would-be Arnie Beckers. The University of Richmond Law School this year invited waiting-list students to send videos supporting their applications. No Cecil B. DeMille productions, please, just answers to questions on justice and social change. " It gives us a chance to look beyond grades and LSAT scores," says a school official.
  • Schwarzkopf

  • Faultless To A Fault

    Germans have a cultural tendency to define mistakes and failures as anyone's fault but their own. When teenage neo-Nazis in the Baltic port city of Rostock firebombed a building last month that housed Romanian Gypsies and Vietnamese workers, sociologists explained that the frustrated youths lacked recreational activities-as if hurling Molotov-cocktails were a sport. When neighbors cheered from their balconies, German politicians condemned the violence but professed their "understanding" of the social and economic hardships of unification that seemingly drove locals to riot and, in some cases, to shout, "SiegHeil!"Last week the Bonn government announced plans to punish the lawbreakers. Not the neo-Nazis, whose violent campaign has spread to 45 German cities at last count, but the refugees who exploit Germany's constitutional guarantee of political asylum by filing fraudulent claims. Under a recently announced agreement with Bucharest, Bonn will deport Romanians, most of them Gypsies,...
  • The Still-Amazing Grace

    OK, so you wouldn't confuse her with Dick Tracy. But Grace Kelly was hip to her chiseled jaw. It was, says Howell Conant, her one facial flaw and ,'she knew it." His new book, "Grace," contains hundreds of photos he took of her from 1955 until her death in 1982. Conant had her turn her face so " it didn't look quite so square." He did catch her off guard on the set of "The Swan." Chin up, chin down: still gorgeous.
  • What Schwarzkopf's Book Leaves Out

    On the face of it, General Schwarzkopf's book tour should be a campaign advertisement for George Bush. Watching the great general relive the gulf war on TV and radio talk shows could remind voters of the finest moments of Bush's presidency. That is, unless they actually read the book. ...
  • Al Gore

    As the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Al Gore of Tennessee is drawing plenty of headlines--but that's nothing new. His birth hit the front page of the Nashville Tennessean, his home state's biggest newspaper: WELL, MR. GORE, HERE HE IS ON--PAGE 1. "Mr. Gore" was the U.S. senator from Tennessee, and the arrival of his son was a big story. There were definite advantages to being a senator's son. Like many young boys, AI liked baseball. Unlike most, however, he got to play in the corridors of the Capitol. One disadvantage was living in a Washington hotel suite when Congress was in session. Gore preferred summer vacations and holidays on the family's Tennessee farm.Gore threw himself into campus politics at Harvard. Going door to door, he introduced himself to fellow freshmen by saying, "Hi, I'm AI Gore. I'm running for freshman council." After 15 years altogether as a congressman and a senator, Gore is still running-this year, at Bill Clinton's side.
  • What Does He Want?

    Ross Perot is just inquiring, of course. His London-based advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, networks to ask about buying half-hour chunks of prime time. He wants to air the ultimate political Veg-O-Matic ad: an " infomercial" featuring him, his apocalyptic charts, his spread the-pain plan to save the economy. Though he's now on the ballot in 50 states (at a cost to him of $18 million), the networks say they won't sell him time because they don't consider him a "candidate." ...
  • Cover Girls

    Funky Divas" is not another crossover album by Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle. It's the latest from En Vogue, a hot new quartet that's a '90s take on '60s girl groups. The sizzly foursome is now on a crosscountry tour, but if they're not near you, tune in to the new ABC series " Hangin' With Mr. Cooper," for which they do the theme song. Simply Supreme.
  • 'Was It Worth It? You Bet.'

    Since my retirement from the Army a year ago, I have traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Everywhere I am asked the same questions regarding the conduct and the outcome of the Gulf War. Some people started questioning, and some criticizing, both what we accomplished in the gulf and the war was fought. Here are my answers: ...
  • The Stork Club

    A famous American composer is making beautiful music again, this time with Nastassja Kinski. Quincy Jones, 59, and the 31-year-old actress (whose most famous previous partner was a python) are expecting a baby sometime next spring. Alert Planned Parenthood: that's kid number seven for him, number three" for her.
  • Welcome To Rush's World

    At 5:30 sharp, Rush Limbaugh pads onto the set of his new TV show: a cheesy, blue-walled library straight out of "Wayne's World." He chats with his media guru, Roger Ailes, surveys his tiny audience and then ... the right wing's answer to the cultural elite is ready to shtik it to 'em. Today's target: leftist agitators in the African-American community. Limbaugh mocks Spike Lee's upcoming movie ("Malcolm the Tenth," he calls it). He berates the filmmaker for urging blacks to skip school to see it ("Why not tell them to loot the concession stand and burn the theater?"). And he reads aloud an angry, expletive-filled message Spike left on The New York Times's voice mail after the paper misreported that he lacked a college degree. ("Remember, this is after a college education," says Rush. "We call that 'looter lingo'.") When the day's taping ends, the 300-pounder huddles with his nearly-ashefty producer. "Was that too vicious?" Rush asks. "Too full of anger?" ...
  • Europe In Pieces

    The marriage wasn't even consummated-and suddenly they were talking divorce. Just yesterday, it seemed, the countries of Western Europe were poised to put aside centuries of war and conflict to join in a full-scale economic and political union' The much-touted single market of "1992" was to lead inexorably toward a common " Eurocurrency" by the year 2000. But last week those carefully laid plans abruptly collapsed in a hail of soaring interest rates, plummeting currencies and angry finger-pointing. So chaotic and far-reaching was the crisis that, for one week at least, it pushed even the British royals off the front pages of Europe's tabloids. As markets from London to Lisbon went wild, Italy's daily La Repubblica summed it all up in a headline: EUROPE GOES To PIECES. ...
  • Tuna Melt

    Ever Wonder what high-priced public-relations advice gets you? For the folks at Bumble Bee tuna, it's the idea of a "tuna bakeoff " between George Bush and Bill Clinton similar to the cookie contest between Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton. According to White House sources, a PR rep from Hill and Knowlton, which handles the Bumble Bee account, called the White House several times last week requesting the president's favorite tuna recipe for a bipartisan bakeoff with Clinton. The White House declined, not wanting its candidate to appear as anything less than presidential. No word yet from the Clinton camp.