All of those years Francois Mitterand was president of France, extolling the virtues of French culture and commerce, there wasn't a fine, French wine in his glass but rather a common cola, says John Fund. "Francois Mitterand was a man of taste and he assembled a marvelous wine collection," says Fund. "Well, he's been dead a few years, and his son has just been convicted of tax evasion and needs to raise cash, so he put it up for auction. The bottles sold very well, but in the process we learned Mitterand's secret, which is he didn't like wine. He never drank spirits and almost never drank wine. At the state banquets where he held forth, he constantly had his glass filled with -- gasp -- Coca-Cola. So American cultural imperialism is at work, even in France, even under Mitterand."
Palm Beach, Santa Monica? No, welcome to Ocean City, New Jersey, one of the fastest-growing beach communities in America. Daniel Henninger gives a tony to a place that is known for being impossibly tacky -- New Jersey. "Unfortunately, New Jersey's reputation is defined almost wholly by the strip of turnpike that runs from the Newark Airport up to the Holland Tunnel," says Henninger. However, a recent WALL STREET JOURNAL report of the hottest vacation towns indicates that Paris Hilton may soon be washing cars along its shores. "In addition to Malibu, Pebble Beach and Newport, Rhode Island, there are at least 10 towns from the Jersey shore on the list whose value has appreciated greatly in the last five years. Bruce Springsteen sang about riding through mansions of glory out on Highway 9, the road that runs right along the Jersey shore. It looks like the mansions of glory are still rising out along Highway 9, and, when that housing bubble pops, the sound is going to be a lot louder in Malibu than it is along the ancient boardwalks of the Jersey shore."
Phil Jackson is back in the game, returning to coach the LA Lakers once again -- whether Kobe Bryant likes it or not. Bravo, says Jason Riley. "The knock on Phil Jackson has always been that, despite his success, he's only interested in coaching championship caliber teams. Between his stint in Chicago under Michael Jordan and his prior stint in LA under Shaquille O'Neal, the guy's got more rings than Saturn. This time, however, he's taking on a team, a real challenge, a team that was under 500 last year and didn't even make the play-offs. He's got his work cut out for him, and I think it's admirable that he wants to take up this challenge, in light of the fact that other, better teams were interested in him."