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The Notebook: He Said, She Said


TIME magazine

(TIME, April 27) -- Newt Gingrich and Susan Molinari have both written new memoirs. The common experience of the House Speaker and the former Congresswoman seems to end there:

Newt: "Christmas is a slow news time, and this story [of the settlement of his ethics case] dominated the media...the story cycled through CNN virtually every half hour for three or four days."

Susan: "That settlement was made public just as Americans were caught up in their final frenzy of Christmas shopping, so the announcement made a remarkably light impression on voters."

Newt: "I was thinking about long-range planning when what I should have been doing was making sure we could get through the summer of 1997."

Susan: "By the time we reached summer 1997...[he] was still trying to micromanage even the minutiae of House life."

Newt: "I...was essentially a political leader of a grass-roots movement seeking to do nothing less than reshape the federal government along with the political culture of the nation."

Susan: "Finally, Newt's face began to quiver...'It's so hard being at the center of a worldwide movement.'"

Northern Ireland: Approval of the Deal Is Likely, Not Unanimous

Polls indicate that more than 70% of voters support the Northern Ireland peace agreement, which must be approved in a May 22 referendum. The campaign, however, has just begun, and will clearly be nasty in the North. PETER ROBINSON, deputy leader of IAN PAISLEY'S Protestant Democratic Unionist Party, called the agreement "the mother of all treachery." He also told TIME that should PRESIDENT CLINTON visit the province to encourage support for the agreement, as has been proposed, "we will not give him a free hand to go around and do whatever he wants. He will be subject to the cut and thrust of the hustings of Northern Ireland political campaigns." Paisley's party is well known for its gangs of bullyboys who play rough during elections. Could Robinson be threatening disruptions? "One thing we will not do is give prior warning of our intentions," he replied. The White House says there has been no decision, but Paisley's opposition will be "irrelevant" to what Clinton does. On the Catholic side, GERRY ADAMS, president of Sinn Fein, has been holding a frantic series of meetings with the people who, as Adams says, "made the struggle, made the sacrifices and made the big commitment"--in short, the I.R.A. So far, he is getting a mixed reaction, but he is confident that he will ultimately bring them along.

--By Barry Hillenbrand/Belfast

How To Blow $50 Billion Without Even Trying

Last week the government announced that it will have a $50 billion budget surplus. The pols immediately began arguing over how best to spend it. How often do we get our hands on a windfall like this? Here are some ways we could just blow it!

  1. Build a taxpayers' monument; list all 270 million of our names
  2. Purchase a castle in Germany to time-share: we'll each get 1.36 minutes
  3. Stand a national round of drinks every Friday for a year
  4. Buy Bill Gates. We'll share his future income--and he can do tech support
  5. Give Victoria's Secret diamond-studded bras to 50,000 taxpayers
  6. Make safety glamorous: cover U.S. fire hydrants in gold leaf
  7. Finance 46 minutes per citizen on the Psychic Friends Network
  8. Five words: down payment on space Titanic
--By Margaret Feldstein
In TIME This Week

Cover Date: April 27, 1998

The Currie Riddle
The Priest At The Party
Greens Flip Over Turtles
Dividing Line
The Notebook: He Said, She Said
Spiriting Prayer Into School

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