Juan Hancock

John McCaslin
|
Posted: Jul 16, 2003 12:00 AM

The U.S. Constitution published in Spanish?

Yes, and the Declaration of Independence, too (or the "Declaracion de Independencia").

The Cato Institute in Washington explains that because the number of "non-English-speaking citizens" of the United States continues to increase, it's decided to publish America's founding documents bilingually so they are "accessible to every American."

"The Founders drafted an extraordinarily thoughtful plan of government, but it is up to each of us, to each generation, to preserve it for ourselves and for future generations," says Roger Pilon, director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies.

The Spanish edition of the documents will be published in the same "pocket" format as Cato's popular English version - to "help new Americans and future Americans as they realize the American Dream," says the think tank.

Congress has refused on several occasions over the years to make English the official language of the United States.

BUBBA SPEAK

Anybody miss Bill Clinton?

"While the former first lady and junior senator from New York (Hillary Rodham Clinton) is baring her soul on every channel from CNN to Animal Planet - reminding America of the most scintillating details of the Clinton years - Americans young and old can hear once again from (Bill Clinton)," says the California-based doll maker Talking Presidents.

That's right, the long-awaited talking William Jefferson Clinton political action figure is officially baring its soul this week, reminding proud Democrats and Republicans alike of the historical and hysterical moments of the Clinton co-presidency.

This column couldn't help but pick up one of the presidential collectibles. After listening to it speak, here, in our opinion, are the most historical phrases that helped shape the Clinton legacy:

"Last year, the vice president launched a new effort to make communities more liberal, ahhh liveable, liberal, ahhh, no."

"I experimented with marijuana a time or two and I didn't like it, and didn't inhale and never tried it again."

"I want to say one thing to the American people - I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

"It depends upon what the meaning of the word is is."

Bill Clinton is the second in a series of political action figures by Talking Presidents ( www.talkingpresidents.com ). It follows the release of the wildly popular talking George W. Bush action figure, 12,000 of which sold out in less than a week.

The toy maker expects the Clinton doll to be even more popular.

BUSH SAFARI

President Bush's motorcade to the Botswana's Molodoki Nature Reserve last week was uneventful - "except for a stray donkey that . . . ignored our vehicles and nimbly crossed the road," observed White House pool reporter Ed Chen of the Los Angeles Times.

It wouldn't be the only close encounter with nature.

"At almost precisely the moment that 'First Pickup' reached a group of four elephants, two of the elephants began mating. POTUS (President of the United States) said something to FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) and she slapped him good-naturedly on the thigh," Chen noted. "The mating may have lasted one to two minutes. At one point, one still-fotog (photographer) who was there said he saw POTUS chuckling."

Also accompanying the president on his safari was Secretary of State Colin Powell who, according to the reporter, was diplomatic to the core. His reaction to seeing the elephants?

"The elephants were on message," Powell said. "We were all on message."

TEN-YEAR WAR?

A veteran Republican congressman is calling for U.S. troops to be brought home from Iraq "before more and more of them are murdered."

"It seems that every day we read about a young American soldier being killed in Iraq," says Tennessee Rep. John J. Duncan. "We can be friends with the Iraqi people without making our soldiers sitting ducks for Islamic terrorists."

The congressman says it is "so politically correct today and sounds so fashionable and intellectual to say that the U.S. will have to be in Iraq for several years and that it will not be easy and we must be prepared for the sacrifice and the difficulties ahead. Well, someone should ask, why?"

He agrees with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was a very evil man, a tyrant and brutal dictator, but he pointed out that Hussein's "total military budget was only about two-tenths of one percent of ours. He was no threat to us, as this three-week battle - with almost no resistance - proved.

"Our military did a great job, as we all knew they would. Now, we should bring them home," he said.

So far, the United States has spent more than $100 billion on the Iraqi Freedom operation, and the congressman has been handed estimates that U.S. forces will remain in Iraq "at least five - and probably 10 - years."

Given current deficits in the hundreds of billions, "we will have to borrow the money to do all this," he warns.

SHE'S A REAGAN

The most popular names in America? A little research reveals a trend that will make Republicans proud.

Last year, according to the Social Security Administration, a whopping 24,262 girls were named Emily, while 30,122 boys were named Jacob. But the name "Reagan" is becoming increasingly popular, too - for baby girls.

The name of the 40th president of the United States has seen steady gains in the past decade. In 1993, for instance, Reagan ranked 998th, when only 202 baby girls were given the name. Last year, 1,603 American girls shared Reagan, making it the nation's 201st most popular name.

By comparison, just 236 boys last year were named "Clinton," which ranked No. 735, according to the SSA ( www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames ).

And while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's new memoir is a certified million-seller, the New York Democrat's name is not popular with parents nowadays. While "Hillary" ranked No. 261 among girls' names in 1993, a search of last year's top 1,000 ... well, the computer message reads: "The text 'Hillary' was not found."

Here's how Reagan has grown in popularity:

1993 - No. 998
1994 - No. 730
1995 - No. 595
1996 - No. 455
1997 - No. 387
1998 - No. 328
1999 - No. 348
2000 - No. 285
2001 - No. 223
2002 - No. 201

For what it's worth, "Monica" ranked No. 179 among baby girls' names last year. For some reason, the name fell out of the top 100 after 1998. As recently as 1997, "Monica" was the 77th most popular American baby name.

Oh, and "John" was the 17th most-popular name for boys last year.