The Notebook: The President Gets A Loyal, Non-Partisan Buddy
"The average age of the members is deceased."
Capitol Love Fest: Brother Can You Spare A Payroll Cut?
(TIME, December 22) -- Everybody loves the workin' stiff, especially with an election year coming up. Which is why Washington witnessed a rare political alignment last week as leaders from both parties pushed credits, reductions or deductions of the tax that hits the lunch-box crowd hardest: the payroll tax. While many Republicans talk about lowering income-tax rates, Senate majority leader TRENT LOTT last week named making payroll taxes deductible as a more likely reform. And, hey, Democrat TED KENNEDY's a big fan too, listing a cut as a top priority for next year. In a private make-nice meeting last week with House Democratic minority leader DICK GEPHARDT, White House chief of staff ERSKINE BOWLES said the Administration wants to champion its own idea. That support is likely to help overcome the claim that payroll-tax meddling imperils the Social Security system it funds. Now it's a race to see who gets the credit. As Lott told TIME, "You want to do something that would affect the blue-collar American? Buddy, this is it."
--By John F. Dickerson/Washington
Cuba Libre: Is Fidel Getting Religion, Or Just Tourist Dollars?
It seems to have taken a form of divine intervention for the U.S. to loosen its embargo against Cuba just a tiny bit. To help POPE JOHN PAUL II's visit there next month, Washington will allow a cruise ship, some church supplies and as many as 10 chartered airline flights to take pilgrims from Miami to Havana. Might this be the start of a thaw? Well, one U.S. official noted that FIDEL CASTRO "is saying things he never said before," including asking a group of Protestants to pray for his country. National Security Adviser SANDY BERGER explained it this way: Washington "wants the Pope's visit to have a lasting effect." But no formal review of Cuba policy is under way, and no one expects John Paul to convert the communist graybeard to democracy and capitalism.
--By Douglas Waller and J.F.O. McAllister/Washington
The Microsoft Chronicles: World Domination May Just Have To Wait
It's official: Windows 98 is in play. Last week Federal Judge THOMAS PENFIELD JACKSON ordered Microsoft to stop forcing PC makers to include its Explorer Web browser on Windows 95 machines, at least until Harvard law professor LAWRENCE LESSIG completes a study of the company's business practices as they relate to federal antitrust law. A Lessig conclusion that Microsoft's plan to knit Explorer into the upcoming Windows 98 system violates antitrust statutes could mean the biggest antitrust battle since the Feds broke up Ma Bell in the 1980s. The stakes? Just the future of Windows; which is to say the PC; which is to say the Net; which is to say human civilization as we know it. Both Lessig's report and Win 98 are due next spring. But for now, lawyers and lobbyists, start your engines!
--By Michael Krantz
INDICTED. Henry Cisneros, 50, Clinton's first Housing Secretary; on 18 felony counts, including lying to the fbi about payments to his ex-mistress; by a federal grand jury; in Washington.
Thank God Joey Stayed Home
It was true in grade school, and it's true when you're in the White House: don't hang with the wrong crowd. That's the mistake HILLARY CLINTON made last week when she decided to hold a private meeting with gossip columnist CINDY ADAMS at New York's 132-year-old University Club, where she'd just spoken at a $1,000-a-plate fund raiser. It seems Adams managed to get herself and the First Lady booted from the stuffy club by gabbing on a cellular phone, rustling her bags and getting Hillary to spray Adams' incredibly unpleasant perfume, Gossip, in the air. The First Lady's spokeswoman tried to downplay the incident. Good luck.
--By Joel Stein
Dear Dr. Pet Psychologist
Q: The President got a new chocolate Labrador, and everyone seems very excited. But how does Socks feel?
A: Much like a child dealing with his first sibling, Socks is going through a tough time. Deirdre Ryan-Rivas, an animal-behavior counselor with the ASPCA, says Socks "is going to be a little upset. The cat needs to have a room of his own. Fortunately, they have a lot to choose from." Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a veterinary behaviorist at Texas A&M, agrees. "The biggest problem you worry about is that the dog can bother the cat around the litter-box area. The cat gets all postured and ready to eliminate and along comes this pest. So a lot of them stop using the litter box."
--By Joel Stein
Beware of pups, Mr. President. As LYNDON JOHNSON discovered, if pet dogs are not handled gently in public, the public can bark back. TIME's May 8, 1964, report:
The President...lifted the dogs up onto their haunches by pulling their ears and noted their yapping with apparent pleasure. "It's good for them," he said. "It does them good to let them bark." ...Neither [the members of a 13-person investment task force assembled in the Rose Garden] nor the President thought much about the incident. But dog lovers howled in disagreement, flooded the White House with angry telegrams, letters and phone calls. In New York, an official of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said knowledgeably, "If somebody picked you up by the ears, you'd yelp too." In London, the chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports snapped, "This is a most extraordinary way to treat a dog." In Charleston, W.Va., a dog catcher said to a reporter, "The President did that? You're kidding. If he were in Charleston, I'd run him in." But beagle experts came to Johnson's rescue, said that it was indeed common practice in hunt country to tug the dogs' ears to be sure they are in good voice.
In TIME This Week:
Cover Date Dec. 22, 1997
Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this information is provided to you.