"...a simple, innocent explanation?"
"Maybe there'll be a simple, innocent explanation. I don't think
so because I think we would have offered that up already."
Mike McCurry, the White House press secretary, as quoted in the
"I think what I was proving was that only fools answer
Mike McCurry, now chastened, explaining himself to reporters
The Scoop: Hollywood
How Katzenberg Differs From Sammy Davis Jr.
(TIME, March 2) -- DreamWorks partner JEFFREY KATZENBERG has taken some ribbing since a photo of him by DIANA WALKER seemingly embracing the Vice President from behind appeared in these pages two weeks ago. Was this an example of Sammy Davis Jr.-hugging-Nixon-like enthusiasm? Not quite. What happened was that Katzenberg was hanging out with SIR ELTON JOHN following John's rehearsal before the state dinner in honor of British Prime Minister TONY BLAIR. Katzenberg had been lobbying John to sing a tune he didn't write for the very-high-stakes upcoming DreamWorks animated film Prince of Egypt. Unfortunately, John doesn't do songs he didn't write. Enter HILLARY CLINTON. (Seemingly a casual drop-by, she was actually there by prearrangement with Katzenberg in the hope that she would find John with STEVIE WONDER so she could urge the two to perform a duet at the dinner.) She greeted them, then asked John if he was going to sing a song for Prince of Egypt. John, smelling a setup, glowered at Katzenberg. After a few minutes of chitchat, AL GORE entered. He greeted the group, expressed admiration for John, then asked (purely by coincidence, Katzenberg swears) if John would sing on Prince of Egypt. At that point, as John feigned exasperation, Katzenberg ducked for cover behind the largest immobile object in sight (cheap joke). At this writing, John is not performing on Prince of Egypt. However, he and Wonder did sing a duet.
--By Kim Masters/Los Angeles
The Asian Flu: Unrest in Indonesia Has Pentagon Laying Plans
Pentagon planners are quietly reviewing their options for how to
extricate the 11,000 Americans living in Indonesia if turmoil in
the South Pacific archipelago continues to escalate. Fiscal
problems have led to a $43 billion International Monetary Fund
bailout, but the resulting austerity measures have sent the cost
of basic necessities in the world's fourth most populous country
soaring, and last week rioting broke out on several islands. The
anger comes from 90% of the 202 million Indonesians who are
Muslims and is largely directed against the nation's ethnic
Chinese, who account for only 4% of the population but control
about 70% of the economy. So long as the unrest is contained by
Indonesian strongman SUHARTO, the Pentagon doesn't think an
emergency evacuation will be required. But his hold is shaky,
and if increased rioting turns into wholesale violence, the U.S.
military might be called on to ferry Americans to safety.
--By Mark Thompson/Washington
Talking The Talk
Kofi Annan isn't the first statesman to try to broker a
last-minute peace. Here are some past attempts:
Secretary of State William Seward tried to avoid the Civil War
in 1861 by offering to abandon Fort Sumter and provoke war with
Spain. Lincoln put the kibosh on these plans, and the nation
went to war.
Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement in 1938, ceding
the Sudetenland to Germany and announcing "peace in our time."
He went down in history as the personification of misguided
Jimmy Carter went to Port-au-Prince in 1994 to persuade General
Cedras to step down, as the U.S. demanded. After two days of
negotiation, Carter succeeded, and Haiti just kind of chilled out.
Where Have All THe Dollars Gone?
Combat ain't cheap. The Gulf War in 1991 lasted a mere seven
weeks, yet cost about $70 billion, as much as bailing out one or
two Asian economies. Should battle resume, the money will once
again start to burn.
Tomahawk Cruise Missile
In 1991 a stunned CNN newsman watched a ship-launched Tomahawk
navigate past his Baghdad hotel room toward its last stop. We
used 288 last time
Cost: $750,000 each
At least 1,000 of the creepy-sounding air-to-surface
anti-radiation missiles helped deafen Iraq's air-defense radar
Cost: $200,000 each
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The Fighting Falcon's jamming equipment sent Iraqi missiles
swirling off course. They flew 13,500 combat sorties, but seven
were lost during the war
Cost: more than $20 million each
During the war and the cease-fire, U.S. jets using these
supersonic heat-seeking, air-to-air missiles dispatched eight
Iraqi aircraft. About 35 Sidewinders were fired
Cost: $84,000 each
They weigh only half a pound, but when spewed at 7,200 rounds a
minute from the six twirling muzzles of a Vulcan cannon, these
armor-piercing shells are formidable indeed. Pentagon officials
couldn't begin to estimate the number used
Cost: around $20 each
About 50 cost-effective Sparrows were used to take out 23 enemy
Cost: $125,000 each
Good Al, But That's With A "W"
Everyone knows Allen Ginsberg was a great poet. Did he also have
ESP? Here is a poem he wrote in 1949:
Sweet Levinsky in the night
Sweet Levinsky in the light
do you giggle out of spite,
or are you laughing in delight
Sweet Levinsky, sweet Levinsky
In other lines, Ginsberg asks if Levinsky trembles when the cock
crows and employs such words as dissemble, tearful and fearful.
The Levinsky in the poem is actually Leon Levinsky, a relatively
minor character in Jack Kerouac's first novel, The Town and the
To which resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue does this
"[He] makes almost never-ending eye contact. The way he looks at
you, it's almost like he wants to get inside of you. You feel
like you have his undivided attention, like he'd do anything to
Answer: It's First Dog Buddy, characterized by trainer Greg
Strong in the March issue of George magazine.