[[M I L E S T O N E S]] * Today marks two special occasions--of radically different sorts. First, it’s former President Bill Clinton’s 59th birthday. He was born on this day in 1946, in the small southwestern Arkansas town of Hope. Second, today George W. Bush breaks Ronald Reagan’s 335-day record for the most vacation days taken by a sitting U.S. president--and he does it in fewer than five years, rather than Reagan’s eight. Provided that nothing dire calls Bush away from his present schedule of Republican fundraisers, mountain-bike excursions, and deliberate disregard of the antiwar protestors camped outside his 1,600-acre estate in Crawford, Texas, he won’t return to the White House from his 33-day vacation till around September 11--just in time for the Pentagon’s fireworks-and-music, support-the-troops “celebration” of the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
READ MORE: “Walking the Wrong Way” (The New York Times); “Nothing Honors the Dead Like an Old-Fashioned Hoedown,” by James Wolcott; “How ‘Free’ Will Our Freedom Walk Be?” (The Carpetbagger Report).