Former House Speaker Tom Foley died today at age 84. Foley led the House of Representatives between 1989 and the Republican revolution of 1994. A few days before he became speaker, a scandal erupted over a Republican National Committee memo entitled "Tom Foley: Out of the Liberal Closet" and comparing the Spokane Congressman to openly gay Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank.
President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime by Lou Cannon (Simon and Schuster, 948 pp., $24.95) An American Life by Ronald Reagan (Simon and Schuster, 748 pp., $24.95) I. Maybe the local time just seems slower because the current occupant of the White House is a hyperactive gland case. Anyhow, it's hard to believe that only a couple of years have passed since the Reagans went away. It was a touching moment, we now learn.
Where were you when you learned about the fall of the Wall? Me, I was in a grubby, dimly lit roadside police station in rural Costa Rica. Having just emerged from two days of shooting rapids on a rubber raft through jungle mountains, followed by a morning at a remote, coconut-covered beach on the Atlantic coast where the sand and the inhabitants alike are mostly black and mostly untroubled, I was out of touch with everything except the elements.
The Bush-Quayle ticket is a powerful symbol of the moral decline of the American ruling class. Con- sider the response of each half of this generationally balanced ticket to its generation's war. In 1941 George Herbert Walker Bush, scion of a rich and politically influential family, was a 17-year-old senior at a prestigious New England prep school, A secure and idyllic childhood, spent in the bosky suburban towns of Milton, Massachusetts, and Greenwich, Connecticut, and in summerhouses and sailboats on the Maine coast, was behind him.
Going to Woodstock was interesting. Getting out of there was ecstasy. Four of us set out on the morning of Friday. August 16. 1969--me, fresh out of the Navy; my college friend Phil; and our girlfriends, Karen and Mary. We had spent Thursday night at my sister's farm in Rockland County, not too far from where the festival was to be held. She and her husband wanted to come with us, but they had a small child and decided to stay home. They waved goodbye to us from their porch as we pulled out in Phil's beat-up Volkswagen bug. We knew we were in for an adventure of some sort. Why did we go?
One in 28,000 would be a pretty good failure rate for a condom manufacturer. It’d be a spectacular for a method to prevent prisoner recidivism. But in fields like nuclear deterrence and ecological disaster prevention, one little mistake can spoil the whole darn program. What is happening in Prince William Sound is a horrible catastrophe. The place looks even worse than Boston Harbor did in those Bush for President TV commercials. Tens of thousands of oil soaked birds and animals are dead or dying, but that’s only the beginning.
Despite his pee-pants performance in the Omaha debate against Lloyd Bentsen, it looks as if Dan Quayle, 41, will be president one of these days. Consider the politico-actuarial probabilities. Assuming the Republican lead endures, the junior senator from Indiana will be elected vice president. This alone will give him an even chance of becoming president. Three out of the last five presidents were vice president first. Seven out of the last ten vice presidents have ended up heading a national ticket, and four (five if you presumptively count George Bush) got all the way to the Oval Office.
Summer's almost here, and the Celtics are in the playoffs. Thanks to my friend Barry Kaplovitz, who has season tickets, I'm in the front row at Boston Garden, maybe ten feet behind the backboard. Professional basketball is a beautiful game, full of flowing patterns and joyous jumping. Seeing it this close up one is electrified by the sheer physicality of it. The guards dart and dance; the tall centers loom like Easter Island statues. Kaplovitz is a political and marketing consultant who thinks the Gary Hart story was a press atrocity.