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Ronald Reagan


  • Originally published 01/07/2014

    Ronald Reagan's occultist mentor

    Manly P. Hall, the president's occult guru, believed the United States was a society that had been planned and founded by secret esoteric orders to spread enlightenment and liberty.

  • Originally published 08/03/2013

    Documents show Thatcher-Reagan rift over U.S. decision to invade Grenada

    LONDON — Thirty-year-old documents newly released by the British government reveal just how severely America’s decision to invade the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983 tested the warm ties between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan.While the two leaders had a strong and affectionate personal rapport, the British official papers reveal how little warning Mrs. Thatcher was given about the pending military invasion, a move that left the British irritated, bewildered and disappointed. They also show how Mr. Reagan justified the secrecy as a way to prevent leaks, and how the British later concluded that the invasion had in fact been planned long in advance. At one point during tense written exchanges, both leaders claimed, in defense of their opposing approaches to the unrest in Grenada, that lives were at stake....

  • Originally published 05/19/2013

    Margaret Thatcher and Jimmy Carter: Political BFFs?

    Credit: Wiki Commons.Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are commonly portrayed in the media as close political and ideological allies. Both were conservatives who reinvigorated their parties and transformed politics in their respective countries, both took on the entrenched welfare state (Thatcher moreso than Reagan, but then the British welfare state was larger and more politically popular), and both were firm anti-communists.The "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain never seemed more special when Reagan and Thatcher were in office. But it's worth remembering that Thatcher, who became prime minister in May 1979, nearly two years before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the fortieth president.

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    1983: The Most Dangerous Year of the Cold War

    Credit: militarists.ru.Just how close did the world come to full-blown nuclear war in the 1980s?Frighteningly close.That's the conclusion of researchers at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which released on May 16 a collection of documents on the 1983 Able Archer war scare, the closest the Cold War came to turning hot since the Cuban Missile Crisis.Many of the documents come from Soviet archives, and are summarized in English; others came from the U.S. government after Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requestsThe release is the first in a series of three postings; the second will consist of U.S. military documents, the third documents from the U.S. intelligence community. (The National Security Agency, the website notes, refused to release its relevant documents after a 2008 FOIA request, but “did review, approve for release, stamp, and send a printout of a Wikipedia article.”)

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    Seth Rosenfeld: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of UC

    Seth Rosenfeld is the author of "Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power," which received the 2013 Ridenhour Book Prize.Once upon a time, the University of California was a sacred trust, the top tier of a model educational system that helped lift the state to unprecedented prosperity. It was jealously protected from outside political interference.Now UC is more often described in profane terms. The state's entire higher education system has been under assault for decades — free access is long gone; investment per student has shrunk; some rankings have slipped. The passage of Proposition 30 last year will help repair some of the damage, but UC's stature has been diminished and with it the dream of a truly excellent education for every qualified native son and daughter.

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Ex-official: Heritage has betrayed Reagan

    During the Reagan Revolution, the Heritage Foundation was seen as the soul of the free market conservative revival. As senior vice president for research at the think tank from 1981 through 1992, Burton Pines was in charge of its intellectual output — “If Heritage were General Motors, I ran the factory,” he says — but as Heritage comes under fire this week for a controversial immigration report, Pines says the storied organization has lost its way.“It’s a new Heritage and it’s one that’s not standing by the principles of Ronald Reagan,” he told Salon Thursday. “I’m puzzled why they came out with this study and I’m more puzzled why they seem to be against immigration.”The foundation’s new report, which estimates that immigration reform will cost taxpayers $6 trillion, has touched off a civil war on the right....

  • Originally published 04/24/2013

    Bernard von Bothmer: Review of Ron Reagan's "My Father at 100" (Viking Penguin, 2011)

    Bernard von Bothmer is an adjunct professor of history at the University of San Francisco and Dominican University. He is the author of "Framing the Sixties: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush" (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010).Ron Reagan, one of only twenty-seven living children of American presidents, has written a fascinating portrait of the nation’s fortieth president. My Father at 100 is a moving tribute to the eternal, and complicated, bonds between fathers and sons and between children and aging or deceased parents. It also offers detailed insight into the character and personality of the enigmatic Ronald Reagan.

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Jon Meachem: Ronnie's Friend Maggie

    Jon Meachem is the author of "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship."The phrase, inevitably, is Winston Churchill's. Long an advocate of Anglo-American alliance, the wartime British Prime Minister often spoke of what he called the "ties of blood and history" between the two nations. For Churchill, a "special relationship" with the U.S. had been a matter not of choice or convenience but of life and death. Faced with Nazi Germany's blitzkrieg across Western Europe in 1940, the new Prime Minister had no doubt about which way salvation lay. No lover, Churchill later remarked, had ever studied the whims of his mistress as he did those of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was "the New World, with all its power and might," Churchill declared in the wake of Dunkirk in 1940, that one day would come "to the rescue and the liberation of the Old."

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    How the Union’s state got so ‘strong’

    ...Strong, stronger, strongest — one of those words has been used to describe the union in each of the last 17 State of the Union addresses.But it was not always so. Presidents once used other words to describe the state of our union. President Jimmy Carter liked to call it “sound.” President Harry S. Truman liked to call it “good.” President Lyndon B. Johnson, in a lyrical moment, described the state of the union in 1965 as “free and restless, growing and full of hope.”And when things were not going well, they said so.“I must say to you that the state of the union is not good,” President Gerald R. Ford said in 1975, citing high unemployment, slow growth and soaring deficits. He added, “I’ve got bad news, and I don’t expect much, if any, applause.”...What changed? The simple answer is President Ronald Reagan....

  • Originally published 02/11/2013

    Where Have All the Real Conservatives Gone?

    Brent Bozell and William F. Buckley in 1954. Credit: Wiki Commons/UCLA Library/LA Daily News.Recent Republican and conservative convocations have displayed one common thing. Those who pass for thinkers and leaders of these intertwined movements think they can keep doing the same things but achieve better results. With the notable except of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, most Republicans, after sifting through the debris of November 6, think they need new spokespeople and better packaging.The only thing standing between Republicans and the great Reagan landslides of 1980 and 1984 is them. This is a sad commentary on once noble movements. Republican and conservative “leaders” think twenty-first-century Americans are waiting to embrace tenth-century stands on social issues and science, and blustery vague pronouncements on government spending. Does any rational person think today’s Republicans and conservatives bear the slightest resemblance to those who rallied around Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan? Those two icons would not have finished in the top ten in the 2012 Iowa caucus or South Carolina primary.

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Obama's sad press conference record

    President Obama had fewer press conferences during his first term than any other president since Ronald Reagan, Politico reports.With Monday's event, Obama has done a total of 79 over four years. That's 10 fewer than George W. Bush, 54 fewer than Bill Clinton and 63 fewer than George H.W. Bush.Reagan had only 27 press conferences during his first term.

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