Newswire

Newswire

  • A Voter's Guide To The Issues

    67 years old. Born: Milton, Mass. Greenwich Country Day School, Andover, Yale '48. Congressman. U.N. ambassador. Republican Party chief. China envoy. CIA director. Vice President 1981-1989. 41 st president of the United States. Son of Wall Street investment banker Prescott S. Bush. Married to Barbara Pierce. Four sons, one daughter. 12 grandchildren. One daughter, Robin, died of leukemia at age 4.As navy flier in World War II, forced to bail out of his plane under fire. Decorated for valor."Read my lips. No ... new... taxes."Poppy.Power of incumbency. Enjoys global respect on foreign policy, admired personally. Great wife. But: Weak handling of the economy; disappointing domestic record. Erratic campaigner; perception that he doesn't stand for anything.What They ThinkECONOMIC GROWTHFavors a less-is-more approach to the economy, believes it will grow out of the recession without government intervention. Recently concluded this economic vision wouldn't sell politically, so he cobbled...
  • Nickels And Dimes

    Maybe Italy's fiscal police are being a bit overzealous in their war on tax evasion. Too many stores, they say, aren't ringing up sales-and, in turn, aren't giving receipts to customers. So cops recently ticketed one Salvatore Pantone, 7, after he purchased a bag of cheese puffs. His crime: leaving his pennies on the coffee-shop counter without getting a receipt--a transgression that cost him $30 and the store $300. The Italian finance minister scolded the coppers for ticketing a post-toddler. But days later, a woman was fined for leaving a nickel on the counter after her tot clutched a piece of candy.
  • Dirty Trick?

    When Pat Buchanan attacked George Bush recently in a campaign ad for funding "obscene" art, he picked a bad example. The spot features a segment of "Tongues Untied," a documentary film about gay black men that was partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The money was given to the filmmaker in 1988, when Ronald Reagan--not Bush--was president. A Buchanan spokesman acknowledged that the film was funded during the Reagan years, but said an NEA grant to broadcast and promote it was made under Bush. "Our case against Mr. Bush doesn't rest on 'Tongues Untied' alone," said the spokesman.
  • Make Room For Bently

    William Joyce thinks the business of writing and illustrating children's books is a loony way to earn a living. "You spend a lot of time feeling like you're still walking around in short pants," he says. "Other authors don't have these problems. Mario Puzo gets to say, 'I wrote "The Godfather ". 'I get 'Tammy & the Gigantic Fish'." ...
  • The 'Uncandidate': How Pure Is Paul?

    Paul Tsongas was in an acerbic mood as his campaign's new 727 charter jet streaked from San Antonio to Dallas last week. The subject was Bill Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination and advocate of a tax cut for middle-income Americans that he opposes. "I know why Bill is for it," he told NEWSWEEK. "I was in the same meetings he was, the ones in which the pollsters and the advisers told you it would sell ... I am operating from conviction. I won't say Clinton has no political convictions. Clinton is about average for the people I've seen in polities." ...
  • Aux Armes, Citoyens! A Wimp Attack

    Everyone knows the tune, but few people outside France realize that the "Marseillaise" is one of the world's goriest national anthems. Written just 200 years ago when the Prussians invaded France to crush its revolution, the song urges patriots to "drench our fields with their tainted blood." Now, in an era of European unification and political correctness, some French citizens want to soften the "Marseillaise." A committee has formed, including the wife of President Francois Mitterrand, and an alternate text has been proposed. Instead of calling citizens "to arms," it asks them to "march hand in hand." In place of bloodshed, it urges them to "silence all cannons" with song. Most of the French oppose any change. Relics of an age when chauvinism was nothing to be ashamed of, the anthems of many countries fairly drip with blood. In 1814, as the British bombarded Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key wrote: "Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. " For the benefit of...
  • It's Not Just New York . . .

    Tragedy came to Crosby, Texas, over breakfast in the high-school cafeteria. The victim was Arthur Jack, 17, captain of the varsity football team, and the day was Sept. 18, 1991. According to witnesses, Jack was helping himself to orange juice in the serving line when he heard someone say, "You called me a bitch." He looked up to see another student, identified by police as LaKeeta Cadoree, 15, pointing a .38-caliber revolver. Jack tried to take cover but the shooter was too quick: hit in the back by a bullet that traveled upward to pierce his heart, he died on the floor behind the serving counter. Because Crosby (population: 1,811) is a quiet little town on the outer fringe of the Houston metro area, the incident made big news for weeks. "When I heard it happened, I didn't want to believe it," Arthur Jack's father said. "It was like, 'This only happens in the city-Chicago or New York or something'." ...
  • Vacuum Vs. Resentment

    These lead-gray late-winter days are especially dreary for many conservatives. Conservatism is currently being defined either by Pat Buchanan's bad ideas (nativism, protectionism, isolationism) or Bush's lack of ideas. Buchanan says Bush's privileged background precludes his having sympathy with ordinary people, and that Bush has betrayed conservative principles. But Bush's disdain for domestic problems and polities should not be blamed on his background. And the plaintive claim that Bush has betrayed conservatives comes from people gullible enough to have believed that he has beliefs. By the way, who is Buchanan to be checking conservatives' credentials? ...
  • How To Keep Kids Safe

    School violence has become a dismal fact of life, yet many educators continue to respond with not-in-my-schoolyard denial. Not George Sams, an ex-cop who in June 1990 became director of safety and security for Chicago's 410,000 public-school students. With his former police comrades, Sams launched a program called SAFE: Schools Are For Education. Since the program began, he says, there hasn't been a single shooting in the district during school hours. ...
  • Pay Me, Or Get Off My Land

    Think you've got real-estate headaches? Don't complain to developer David Lucas. In 1986, he shelled out $975,000 for two beach lots on the Isle of Palms along the South Carolina coast. He planned to build two homes-one for himself, one for a buyer with deep pockets. But 19 months later, the state passed a law barring construction so close to the shore. The goal: preventing erosion, flying debris and other environmental damage from Atlantic storms. Now Lucas couldn't build a bungalow; his million-dollar investment became no more than a sand trap with a view. ...
  • Nasty As They Wanna Be

    It wasn't pretty to watch, unless you liked the food-fight scene in "Animal House." Last week Sen. Bob Kerrey sneered that Gov. Bill Clinton would crack "like a soft peanut" if the Democrats made him their standard-bearer. Clinton derided Kerrey as a confused tool of his handlers and Paul Tsongas as a "cold-hearted" soak-the-poor toady to CEOs. Tsongas pleaded for a cease-fire but traded insults with rivals in a debate in Denver last Saturday night. ...
  • Total Free Fall

    Under the azure skies of the Mediterranean, on a gleaming white yacht that rocked gently off the French Riviera, Mario F. Kassar, then 39, was proudly holding court. It was early May 1991, and Kassar--the charismatic, Lebanese-born chairman of Carolco Pictures Inc., the world's most successful independent filmmaker--strolled the deck of his 203-foot cruiser, the Maria Alexandra, greeting Hollywood heavies and international financiers. All week, speedboats shuttled luminaries to the yacht from the Hotel du Cap near Cannes, where the film festival was in full swing. Guests included Rene Bonnell, chief of the French TV giant Canal+; Luca di Montezemolo, a Rizzoli executive; even Arnold Schwarzenegger. They nibbled hors d'oeuvres and buzzed about Kassar's soon-to-be-released "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," a $90 million sci-fi thriller. ...
  • A Grand Night For Singing

    Cole needed a porter at the Grammy Awards last week in New York City. Natalie Cole hauled away an armful of gramophones, including one for album of the year for "Unforgettable," whose songs were standards of her father, the late, great Nat. "I thank my dad for leaving me such a wonderful, wonderful heritage," the legatee said. Oscar snubee Barbra Streisand picked up a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy group: "I feel more like a work in progress." ...
  • Kissing Dentures Goodbye

    Toni Granat's smile is brought to you by way of 11 false teeth-but she doesn't wear dentures. "I had never worn them before, and I didn't want to start," says the 44-year-old Louisiana farmer. Instead, for more than a year, she drove the 180-mile round trip from her home in rural Amite to the dental school at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. There she was fitted with individual implants-artificial tooth roots placed surgically in her jawbone. In 1990, 65,000 Americans underwent the same procedure; each plunked down from $1,500 (for a single tooth) to $20,000 (for the rare full-mouth restoration). Most say the results are well worth the time and money. "We grow vegetables on our farm and now I can eat corn on the cob with no problem," says Granat. ...
  • Splashing In The Gene Pool

    Radishes as big as yams! Skim milk right from the cow! Carrots that taste like apples, cucumbers that taste like something, cotton plants that taste like rayon (to boll weevils). In the early 1970s, when scientists discovered the principles of recombinant DNA, the only miracle that seemed beyond the reach of genetic engineering was the kosher pig. At the same time, environmentalists warned that science might accidentally produce a better kudzu instead. Last week, as the White House announced that regulations would be eased on genetically engineered products in the hopes of spurring their development, it was apparent that both the fears and hopes of the early years had been exaggerated. As far as is known, none of the plagues that have descended on the head of beleaguered humanity in the last decade was the product of inadvertent (or malicious) genetic tinkering. And as for revolutionary new vegetables ... well, at least one variety has gone on sale at some supermarkets. They are ...
  • Bush Bashes Israel

    Ordinarily, George Bush is a most pliable politician. The last thing he would do is pick a fight with a powerful interest group in the thick of a hard-fought re-election campaign. Wouldn't be prudent. But that is just what the president has done on an issue of concern to American Jews. He has taken a principled stand against new Israeli settlements in occupied Arab territory. There have been angry words between the two countries; an irresistible force seems to be hurtling toward an immovable object. Bush hasn't backed down. His advisers are betting that, on this issue, the once feared Israeli lobby will turn out to be a paper tiger. Whatever happens, the umbilical relationship between the United States and Israel may never be the same. ...
  • Fan Mail

    When Queen Elizabeth II sits for a portrait she asks, "With teeth or without?" Elvis I, late king of rock and roll, can't ask, "With chins or without?" but his fans can choose for him. Next month the U.S. Postal Service will distribute 5 million postcard ballots showing two proposed stamps of Elvis--smooth and chunky. Anthony Frank, outgoing postmaster general, suggests, "Vote early, vote often."
  • Spell-Casting 101

    Poor Salem, Mass. Three hundred years have passed since the last witch trial and now Richard Leno comes along. Leno is on trial for attempting to steal money from his girlfriend's family by impersonating a Magus--a magician or sorcerer--and casting a spell on her. He denies the charge. Susan Panagakos says Leno would light candles, make symbols in air and then tell her to write questions on scraps of paper. If the answer to a question was no, she claimed, "the papers would burst into flames." Meantime, the local Witches League for Public Awareness is crying foul. "Witches who follow the old religion," said witch Laurie Cabot, "do not tread on other people."
  • Reagan And Bush: Call It A Snub

    Ronald Reagan is not called the Great Communicator for nothing. In one brief sentence last week, the ex-president neatly summed up his view of George Bush: "He doesn't seem to stand for anything," Reagan reportedly told friends. The former president later denied ever making the remark, first published in The Washington Post, but in case anyone doubted his true feelings Reagan then refused to be seen with the president in public. He skipped a Bush fund-raiser in Los Angeles and barred the press from his house when Bush came calling. ...
  • Thomas: Hypocritic Oath?

    Clarence Thomas vowed to bring something different" to the Supreme Court, but in four months on the bench he has asked few questions in oral argument and voted in all but one case with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The alliance is understandable. Not only is Scalia an aggressive and articulate proselytizer but one of his former law clerks now works for Thomas. The clerk, NEWSWEEK has learned, exerts considerable influence over the rookie justice. Last week, for example, in a dissent that drew an unusual rebuke from the seven-member court majority in a prison case, Scalia joined Thomas in declaring that beating a manacled prisoner may not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. "Thomas and Scalia are one person with two votes," complains Bob Peck of the American Civil Liberties Union. And court observers have even given them a nickname: The D.C. Duo.