News Speak 4

October 17, 1992

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Guatemalan Indian leader Rigoberta Menchu. There has been no comment from Henry Kissinger. The young Quiche Indian woman has traveled the world speaking out against the Guatemalan government and Western Civilization generally. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee, which meets in Oslo, denies their choice is a slap at Columbus for discovering the Indians, but the Guatemalan government was quick to point out that the Vikings are still chafing over losing the Western Hemisphere to its Latin liberators.

People’s billionaire H. Ross Perot is still shaking up the Presidential race. Perot, the self-proclaimed candidate of change, was forced to withdraw from the race early in the year when it was discovered he didn’t have anything smaller than a million on him. In the fall he threw his wallet back into the ring, joining a crowded field that included President Bush—the candidate of change—who wants to replace the present administration with the one that succeeds it, and Bill Clinton, who believes one can change without inhaling.

The second Presidential debate has passed without incident, generating even less heat than light, in contrast to the Vice Presidential debate of last week. Most pundits had expected that confrontation to result in a badly Gored Quayle, but the Vice President surprised everyone with his complete sentences. Ross Perot’s running mate, Retired Admiral James B. Stockdale, was there.

President Bush is continuing to support the United Nations no-fly zone in Bosnia, but he says he will not send troops to defend Bosnia against Serbia because that is a war caused by ethnic tensions coming to a boil, not a war, against a new Hitler coming for oil. Mr. Bush also commented, “I am not the President of the World. That was last week.”

March 12, 1993

The man who devised Parkinson’s Law, C. Northcote Parkinson, has died at 83. The law named for him holds that work expands to fill the time available. He was the author of two biographies of fictional characters.

The White House has defended the new administration against charges that it is made up of members of the cultural elite. The charge arises in part from the presence of Laura Tyson from the Berkeley Round Table on International Economics, or BRIE. But there is an unappreciated diversity in the administration. The cabinet includes Robert Rubin, who has a personal net worth of $26 million, along with others who are worth only $1 million.

While granting the influence of ruthless cosmopolitans and foreigners such as Stephanopoulos and Angelou, the administration denies it makes decisions in marijuana smoke-filled rooms. It is a well-balanced group, said a source, including Ron Brown, who stands up for the rights of blacks—for example, the government of Haiti—along with Warren Christopher, who once kept tabs on the Vietnam anti-war movement (which included Bill Clinton), and of course Lloyd Bentsen, who stands for all the things Clinton ran against. The administration claims it has solved the problem of Congressional gridlock by moving it to the White House.

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