Ronaldus Magnus

New Low in Liberal Ignorance

Featured image Behold our current secretary of education, who couldn’t get anything more backward if he took LSD and tried really hard: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona: "I think it was President Reagan who said, 'We're from the government. We're here to help!'" Here's the actual quote: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help." — (@townhallcom) November 27, 2023 »

New Insight on How The Cold War Ended

Featured image One reason I’m not posting much right now is that I’m in the middle of a three-day conference for scholars at the Reagan Library that they kindly titled after my books, “The Age of Reagan.” Last night the conference featured me in an after-dinner conversation with Beth Fischer of the University of Toronto, author of The Myth of Triumphalism: Rethinking President Reagan’s Cold War Legacy. Don’t be misled by the »

The Age Issue: Biden Vs. Reagan

Featured image I’m so old I can remember when the media was obsessed with the fact that President Reagan often used 4 x 6 cards for talking points at most meetings and other events where he was meeting someone in the cabinet room or Oval Office, including even visiting heads of state. This became a media talking point for suggesting Reagan was an idiot, a creature of his staff, etc. Of course »

Holding down the fort

Featured image I learned from reading Power Line yesterday that John is on vacation in London. Like Steve, he is pursuing other interests in Europe. I am holding down the fort and reminded of then Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s statement at the press conference he held when President Reagan was shot in 1981: Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the president, the vice president, and the secretary of state in that order, and »

A Footnote on Reagan & Gorbachev

Featured image When Gorbachev became general secretary in 1985, Reagan wrote in his diary that he was “too cynical” to believe reports that Gorbachev was a “different kind” of Soviet leader. Gorbachev thought Reagan was “a dinosaur,” fully slavish to America’s capitalist class. But by degrees they warmed to each other personally, ironically by means of bitter and direct philosophical arguments in their unprecedented five face-to-face meetings over the next three years that »

Two Reagan anecdotes

Featured image Last week the Wall Street Journal published Phil Gramm’s column “Reagan’s lessons in economic leadership.” Gramm took the occasion of President Biden’s signing of the absurdly named and and absurdly destructive Inflation Reduction Act to recall “two previously untold examples of his extraordinary leadership and humanity that I witnessed during the making of the Reagan Revolution.” Gramm’s anecdotes arise from the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981. Gramm provides this necessary »

Your State of the Union Bingo Card

Featured image The real question is how quickly someone will fill up five squares in a line (15 minutes? 22 minutes?). It seems a sure thing that every square of this card will be filled in by the end. Meanwhile, I have a short piece up today at the Wall Street Journal on what Biden could learn from Ronald Reagan’s difficult second year in office in 1982: “Reagan Bounced Back After 1982. »

On Biden’s Bitter Bluster

Featured image I only caught about 1/3rd of Biden’s presser on Wednesday, and worse, I listened on the radio while I was driving around, so I didn’t catch his less than reassuring physical demeanor. Like the legend (which may be an incorrect urban legend) of people who listened to rather than watched the Nixon-Kennedy debates in 1960, when it is said people who listed on radio thought Nixon had won, while the »

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 »