Two documents in the Archives are worth one budget in the hand -- or so says the White House, which borrowed the documents for President Reagan to use as a visual aid in his televised State of the Union address last week.
What the White House didn't borrow but had the Office of Management and Budget run off anyway for effect was one of the two conference reports on the budget, bringing the three budget documents' total weight to around 45 pounds.
"I want you to know I'm very angry with Congress," Reagan told the Alfalfa Club Saturday night. "I've had a colon operation. I've had a prostate operation. And now I picked up the damn budget during my State of the Union and have to have a hernia operation."
That's what is known as poetic license, since he should have blamed White House and OMB aides rather than Congress. They were the ones who thought that showing the continuing resolution and the reconciliation bill, plus the conference report, would do more "to drive home a point," as presidential assistant Thomas C. Griscom put it, than just talking about them.
What nobody anticipated was that when Reagan slammed down the documents to drive home that point, he accidentally smashed the middle finger of his right hand.
"During the last part of the speech, he may have been beaming on the outside with hope and energy," said one aide, "but on the inside, his finger was killing him."
It may be presidential not to take sides on Super Bowl matters, but inside the Beltway where it's Redskins territory, them's fightin' words. Yesterday, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater straddled the fence when asked at the morning briefing whom President Reagan rooted for Sunday night.
"The president is neutral," Fitzwater said.
Followed by laughter.
"Although he was heard humming 'Hail to the Redskins,' " Fitzwater added.
Followed by laughter.
Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan invited about 40 guests to the White House theater to watch the Redskins-Broncos game with them. Chili, hot dogs and hamburgers were served at halftime, and the rest of the time the fare was football, with running commentary by former Los Angeles Rams lineman Roosevelt Grier, now an ordained Christian minister.
Though the White House declined to release a guest list, it was learned that among those at the party were USIA Director Charles Wick and his wife Mary Jane, composer Marvin Hamlisch, National Symphony Orchestra conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, White House deputy chief of staff Kenneth Duberstein and his wife Sydney, New Republic writer Morton Kondracke and his wife Millie, FBI Director William Webster, U.S. Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, longtime Reagan adviser Stuart Spencer, White House press secretary James Brady and his wife Sarah, Treasury Secretary James Baker and his wife Susan, Nancy Reagan's chief of staff Jack Courtemanche and his wife Joan, House Minority Leader Robert Michel and his wife Corinne, Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson and his wife Ann, and Wyoming Rep. Richard Cheney and his wife Lynne, National Endowment for the Humanities chairman.
Sources said Vice President George Bush and his wife Barbara also dropped by, though his office placed him in front of his own TV set for part of the game, and otherwise at a meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters, giving a speech.
Sixteen months after the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik, which the Icelandic government had a scant eight days to prepare for, Ronald Reagan and George Shultz continue to sing Iceland's praises. Last week, President Vigdis Finnbogadottir, on a private visit to Washington, heard them for herself from President Reagan in the Oval Office and later from Secretary of State Shultz, who called the meeting "a turning point in arms control."
The singing didn't stop there. After a night at the Kennedy Center watching "HMS Pinafore" from the presidential box, Finnbogadottir was serenaded all the way back to the Icelandic Embassy where a late supper awaited her.
The soloist was first daughter Maureen Reagan, who knew all the lyrics by heart, indelibly left there from a long-ago appearance in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta when she was a kid in school.
Like first daughter Reagan, Finnbogadottir is a former actress and TV host, as well as a former director of the Reykjavik Theatre Co. Among others in the enraptured audience riding back to the embassy were Maureen Reagan's husband Dennis Revell, U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Nicholas Ruwe and his wife Nancy, and Icelandic Ambassador Ingvi Ingvarsson and his wife Holmfridur.
In the good old days of conspicuous consumption, wives of foreign leaders often swept through Washington buying out the store. Last week, Egypt's First Lady Susan Mubarak put a new twist on the Whoopee Express. Instead of personal goodies, she filled her husband's presidential plane with children's books -- 1,000 of them given by the National Geographic Society.
It wasn't the first such gift. Three years ago after a similar appeal for help in improving education in Egypt, the Geographic shipped 1,000 children's books plus five years' worth of back issues of World magazine. Susan Mubarak believed then -- and still does -- that despite their English text, the publications would open up a new world to her country's Arabic-speaking children.
Last week she was so eager to get this latest batch of books and magazines into schools, libraries and a new children's museum that at a luncheon given by NGS editor Wilbur E. Garrett, she leaned over the table to ask William R. Gray, No. 2 in the publications division, if it might be possible to take the books home with her this time. The Geographic packed them into 27 boxes that by week's end were winging their way to Egypt with President and Mrs. Mubarak.
Last year, Mrs. Mubarak turned hostess for Garrett, escorting him through the new museum, now nearing completion in Cairo. Garrett was in Egypt for the opening of an underground chamber containing a boat built for Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) at the base of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Geographic and Egyptian antiquities experts worked together to provide scientists and archeologists the only view they are likely to have of the interior since it was sealed shut 4,600 years ago. A television camera specially constructed by the Geographic was lowered into a 3 1/2-inch hole drilled through the chamber's five-foot-thick cap. There are no current plans to open the chamber.
Were he British and a Knight Grand Cross, former defense secretary Caspar W. Weinberger might well be called "Sir." As it is, when Queen Elizabeth II personally awards him the Honorary Knight Grand Cross in the civil division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE) next month at Buckingham Palace, Weinberger will continue to be just plain "Mr."
A British Embassy spokesman said yesterday that the "Honorary" in the award's title indicates the recipient is not a subject of the queen and therefore is not called "Sir."
Weinberger, being recognized for his "outstanding and invaluable contribution to defense cooperation" between the United States and Britain in the seven years he was defense secretary, is the first American to receive a GBE since 1976. Then it went to Hugh Bullock, president of the Pilgrims, an Anglo-American society.