"This is a very stupid time to do this," said Patricia Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, about efforts to block publication of a book of photographs called The Clinton Years. Who objected to what picture?
(Schedule note: Replies to this question are due 24 hours later than usual because of some mix-up with the International Dateline or Slate's Summer of Love. That is, next quiz Thursday.)
Send your answer by 10 a.m. ET Thursday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday's Question (No. 471)—"Fox Networks":
Visiting Washington this week, Vicente Fox, Mexico's president-elect, told President Clinton that our countries' relations would improve dramatically if we could eliminate one thing. What?
"The giant 'We Like Canada Better Than You' billboards all along the border."—Floyd Elliot
"The gigantic sombrero and handlebar mustache that Clinton wears to every meeting with Fox, 'to make him feel more at home.' "—Tim Carvell
"His bar tab."—Francis Heaney
"The 'Eggsadilla.' "—Bill Scheft
"The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."—Charles Star
Click for more answers.
Perhaps the low point in U.S.-Mexican relations (prior to our dubbing Leno into Spanish and transmitting it south) was the Guerra De Estatos Unidos a Mexico of 1846-1848. In English, this translates roughly as: "Let's go down there and steal everything we can." The conflict was sparked by the United States' annexation of Texas in 1845. People can be so touchy. The two countries also disagreed about where Texas ended—at the Nueces River (Mexican claim) or the Rio Grande (U.S. claim). Now that passions have cooled, it's obvious to people of good will on both sides of the border that wherever Texas ends, there's far too much of it.
In September 1845, President James K. Polk sent John Slidell on a secret mission to Mexico City to negotiate the disputed Texas border, settle U.S. claims against Mexico, and purchase New Mexico and California for up to $30 million. (Those were the days when if you liked a bit of another country, you could just buy it. Particularly if you had a really big army.) Aware of Slidell's intention of dismembering their country, Mexican officials refused to receive him. Or perhaps they just didn't hear the doorbell because they were busy in the yard or something. When Polk learned of the snub, he ordered troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor to occupy the disputed area between the Nueces and the Rio. Polk was a stickler for good manners.
Taylor's army captured Monterrey and defeated a major Mexican force at the Battle of Buena Vista in February 1847, but he showed no enthusiasm for a major invasion. Polk ordered Gen. Winfield Scott to take an army by sea to Veracruz, capture it, and march inland to Mexico City. Scott took Veracruz in March after a siege of three weeks and Mexico City in September. The fall of the Mexican capital ended the military phase of the conflict and initiated the more pleasant dividing up the spoils and strutting about bragging phase.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded nearly all of what today is New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas, and western Colorado for $15,000. Had it not been for the Mexican War, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas would be a part of Mexico, and they'd be known as, er, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
El Answer Grande
President-elect Fox proposes eliminating the Mexican-American border.
He asserts that free movement between the two nations would be a more effective and more humane way both to improve Mexico's economy and deal with the problem of illegal immigrants heading north.
Proponents of open border policies point to the movement of Americans within a vast country of diverse economic conditions and, more recently, the ease of movement within the European Union.
Fox found little support—and by "little," I of course mean "none"—for this idea in his conversations with President Clinton or Vice President Al Gore. He is expected to find no more sympathy in his talks Friday with G.W. Bush, but Fox can look forward to hearing his plan rejected in semifluent Spanish (or amusingly muddled English).
The Taco Bell Chihuahua followed closely by Pat Buchanan.
(I'd pay to see that.—Ed.)