- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Taking the Fifth
It costs more than a penny for Bill Clinton's thoughts.
"I don't think I'd pay $10 million or $12 million or whatever it is for the book," says Regnery Publishing Inc. President Alfred S. Regnery, who, unlike Alfred A. Knopf, didn't land Bill Clinton's memoirs. Not that he tried.
"I don't think we would have been a player," says Mr. Regnery, whose conservative publishing house was a persistent thorn in President Clinton's side. Its biggest best seller ever was "Unlimited Access" by Gary Aldrich, a veteran FBI agent assigned to the Clinton White House who was alarmed by what he saw.
Mr. Clinton, who plans to publish his memoirs in 2003, would certainly do well to sell as many books as Mr. Aldrich, and would probably score a sequel if he came close to the publishing success of conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh.
"We sold over 2 million books attacking Bill Clinton," says Mr. Regnery. "So if there's that many people that want to buy a book by him as bought books attacking him, he'll be halfway there.
"But even if it sells, I don't think [Knopf] will make their $10 or $12 million back. It's unheard of that any book would sell that many. He would have to sell a couple million books, and that's very unlikely, a pretty iffy proposition."
Knopf has its work cut out for it; the reported $12 million figure is the largest in book-publishing history.
Then again, Mr. Clinton could produce a "tell-all" that everybody and their mother rushes out to buy. But don't count on it. He already has pocketed a record $12 million, so what's there to gain?

Impeach this
We're glad to count among our readers Greg Knapp, host of "The Greg Knapp Show" on "the Sky" 97.3-FM in Gainesville, Fla. Yesterday, Mr. Knapp asked listeners to suggest titles for President Clinton's upcoming memoirs, most of which he says were "unairable," thus "unprintable." Here's what's left:
"Pardon me"
"Bill Clinton Unzipped"
"Sex, Lies and Grand Jury Videotapes"
"Impeach this"
Inside the Beltway readers are invited to forward similar, appropriate titles. The winning submission will receive a review copy of Mr. Clinton's forthcoming book, granted he sends us one.

Slow to sign
There was much grumbling in May 1993, four months after Bill Clinton took office, when in lieu of presidential retirement certificates, 17 retiring U.S. Army officers of the Military District of Washington — in the ceremonial company of Maj. Gen. William Streeter, the Old Guard, and Pershing's Own — were presented pieces of paper that read:
"Presidential Certificates are not available for individuals retiring on 20 Jan 93 or later. If certificates are continued under President Clinton's Administration, a certificate will be mailed to your retirement address."
Within days, certificates bearing Mr. Clinton's signature arrived in the retirees' mailboxes. The question now is whether President Bush is signing his certificates while vacationing this month at his Texas ranch.
"We were told he loves the military, but this is eight months after he was sworn into office," says one disgruntled Navy lieutenant commander, who upon his retirement in recent days was handed a memorandum from the commander, Navy Personnel Command:
"This office is still awaiting published Certificates of Appreciation signed by President George W. Bush."

Washington players
That was actor John Amos, star of "Roots" and of late "The West Wing," learning firsthand about presidential administrations during a private meeting in Washington this week with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Audience of a billion
The future of the Internet is being pondered on Capitol Hill.
M. Stuart Lynn, the new president and chief executive officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will appear in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building at noon next Wednesday to discuss "The Challenge of Borderlessness and a Billion Connected People: Pondering the Future of the Internet."

What is ICANN?
In short, the technical coordination body for the Internet. Created in late 1998, the California-based nonprofit corporation assumed responsibility for a set of technical functions previously performed under U.S. government contract by IANA (Internet Assigned Names Authority), among other groups.
Specifically, ICANN coordinates the assignments of the following identifiers that must be globally unique for the Internet to function: Internet domain names, Internet protocol address numbers, and protocol parameter and port numbers.
"The trip to Washington kicks off an outreach initiative on our part, intended to educate and inform people about ICANN, as there is a lot of misinformation and misconception out there on our role," says Mary Hewitt, ICANN's director of communication.

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