Ronaldus Magnus

It Was 40 Years Ago Today. . .

Featured image That the Gipper signed his three-year, 25 percent income tax cut package up at the ranch in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, the capstone in many ways of the “supply side revolution.” Needless to say, reversing this has been the top priority of the left ever since, with partial success. It was a close run, epic legislative struggle. Here’s my account of the climax of the story from The »

Slow Joe vs. The Gipper

Featured image John and Scott have been keeping tabs on President Dementia, which got me to thinking back to President Reagan. Reagan left office in 1989 at age 77, and a few years later was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. There’s been lots of speculation ever since that he suffered cognitive decline during his second term, though my own opinion is that he showed normal age-related change in memory and performance, whereas President »

Forty Years On

Featured image As is being widely remarked, today is the 40th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Reagan outside the Washington Hilton. I was a fresh-out-of-college intern working for Stan Evans up at the Capitol Hill office of his National Journalism Center, where we typically had the public radio classical music station on at low volume in the background. So when the station broke into the middle of the music to »

After “The Day After”

Featured image Seth Lipsky tells a great story about George Shultz in his editorial tribute to him. Harking back to Shultz’s tenure in the Nixon administration, Seth recalled: Shultz was then, as best we recall, President Nixon’s budget director. He was in town on such business and called a press conference at the federal building, which was across the street from the [Wall Street] Journal’s news bureau. So we tucked a notebook »

Feel Good Stories for Today

Featured image Today’s email brings this hysterical warning from the good folks at The Nation: Trump’s attacks on public radio are sickening. Trump’s new budget will literally END funding for Public Radio! Public Radio is SO important for millions of Americans. It provides accurate journalism and high-quality educational programming. Trump knows these cuts mean less educational programming for rural Americans, but he doesn’t care. Could there be anything more cheering and cockle-warming than hearing that the Federal government »

Paul Volcker, RIP

Featured image News this morning of the passing of Paul Volcker, the chairman of the Federal Reserve during the key period from 1979 – 1987 when inflation was wrung out of the American economy, a painful though necessary move whose long-run benefits we are still experiencing today. The Reuters obituary notice today says: Volcker was appointed Fed chairman by a Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, and then reappointed by a Republican, Ronald Reagan. »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 157: OK Boomer: Let’s Cross the Streams! Is Reagan Relevant to Millennials!?!?

Featured image This episode is either an excursion into intergenerational conflict, or the pilot for a 21st century version of The Odd Couple, where Oscar and Felix are a Millennial and an aging Baby Boomer. This week’s episode is actually a crossover show with The Young Americans, hosted by Millennial sports and policy wonk prodigy Jack Butler of the American Enterprise Institute. Jack recently read my two-volume Age of Reagan books, and »

The Power Line Show. Ep. 145: Reagan in the 1960s, and the Lessons for Today

Featured image Last week I was honored once again to be the after dinner speaker for the fall meeting of the Friends of Ronald Reagan, a local civic group in Los Angeles that meets at the California Club to celebrate the enduring greatness and example of the Gipper. It’s always a fun evening, usually capped off with brandy and cigars out on the patio when dinner concludes. I decided to talk about »

Smearing Reagan, Again

Featured image Normally I don’t ever jump to the step-and-fetchit demands of our many lefty trolls, but I’ll make an exception for the story rocketing around right now that way back in 1971 Governor Reagan made a crude racist comment in a private conversation with (checks notes). . . Richard Nixon.  You can listen to the audio here (about the halfway mark). Here’s how Timothy Naftali (a nasty piece of work whom »

Edmund Morris, RIP

Featured image When I interviewed Michael Deaver, one of Ronald Reagan’s senior aides from his days as governor and into his second presidential term, in the course of writing my two-volume Age of Reagan book project, he confessed that recommending Edmund Morris be Reagan’s official biographer was the second-biggest mistake he ever made in Reagan’s service. Immediately your mind will run to the obvious question, which I duly asked: What was your biggest »

What’s Happening With Trump?

Featured image I stayed up late last night because I couldn’t reconcile myself to Stanford’s bizarre loss to San Diego State, and decided to tune in to Boob Tube News—I mean, CNN—which was running a documentary called “The Reagan Show,” described thus: “Made up entirely of archival news and White House footage, this documentary captures the pageantry, absurdity, and mastery of the made-for-TV politics of Ronald Reagan.” Supposedly we were going to »

Tear Down This Wall @ 30

Featured image Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of President Reagan’s famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin that culminated in the famous line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” I began the second volume of my Age of Reagan political biography with an account of it, and it seems worth repeating today: Most of his senior aides didn’t want him to say it.  Indeed, they tried repeatedly to talk him out of »

Remembering Rickles

Featured image The death of Don Rickles last week brought back a flood of memories for me. My father loved seeing him in Las Vegas before Rickles really hit it big, when he was playing in the lounge at the Sahara Hotel. I saw him several times with my dad. Indeed, I saw him several times one night with my dad. Visiting family over Christmas in December 1969, I think, one night »

The M-E-C Freakout Continues

Featured image The Media Entertainment Complex (MEC) is going all in to destroy Trump on behalf of the Democratic Party. I wonder how liberals would react if Saturday Night Live did a sexist sketch like the one last night about Elizabeth Warren (preferably in full native American regalia) instead of Kelly Anne Conway: Paul has already noted the ruckus over the supposed ethics violation of Kelly Anne suggesting on air that people »

Attention Austin Readers

Featured image For Power Line readers in the Austin, Texas, area, I’ll be giving a lecture about Ronald Reagan at the University of Texas at Austin on Friday at lunch time (one hour into the Trump Administration!!), as a guest of the Clements Center for National Security at UT. It’s part of a three-day conference the Clements Center is hosting on “Ronald Reagan and the Transformation of Global Politics in the 1980s.” »

Hayward unbound

Featured image Below is the complete video of Bill Kristol’s conversation with Steve Hayward about the study of Ronald Reagan and statesmanship. The video is also posted here at Conversations with Bill Kristol. The transcript is posted here. Listen and learn. If you dropped an obnoxious comment about Bill Kristol or Steve Hayward on Steve’s post of the video, I have banned you as a commenter. The same applies here. Quotable quote: »

Your Pre-Election Diversion

Featured image Bill Kristol kindly invited me to sit down recently for one of his “Conversations with Kristol” series to talk about the enduring lessons of Ronald Reagan, and the hows and whys of studying statesmanship. Just the thing to take your mind off the election for a little while, as we don’t talk about Trump or Clinton at all. It’s divided into two segments, each about a half-hour long. Enjoy! And »