Category Archives: Ronald Reagan

September 18, 2013, 10:03 am

Your Federal Tax Dollars @ Work: August, 1981


Does this make me look fat?

From a telephone survey commissioned by the Reagan administration in August, 1981, the first year in which I would be filing my own income taxes:

“Given the chance to travel in outer space, a strong minority of the public — 42% –say they would do so. But a majority of 55% would decline the adventure. Young people, surprisingly, are more willing to venture into space than are older Americans. And men are far more likely than women to express the desire for space travel. Half the men — 52% — but only one-third of the women — 33% — say they would travel in space if they had the chance.”

Ask a stupid question…….

March 3, 2011, 6:00 pm

Ronald Reagan, The Religion: Day 2 At The Reagan Library

A piece of the Berlin wall at the RRPL

This morning at breakfast I was shamelessly eavesdropping on a group of men who, I came to understand, are local car dealers.  I suspect that they are also the kind of guys who meet once or twice a week for breakfast because they like each others’ company and it gives them a chance to have a real conversation at least once that day.  As I sat down at the next table, one of them was holding forth about hybrid and electric cars.  “The part I don’t get,” he said to his friends, “is that the people who buy them are actually believing the horse pucky that electric vehicles are better for the environment than gas powered vehicles.”

“Yeah, well just wait until someone gets stuck out in the desert in one,” his friend said.  They all contemplated that for a while.  “It’s just like all the opposition to nuclear energy,” another one of the guys volunteered….

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March 2, 2011, 4:15 pm

My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready To Go: The Spring Research Trip

Happy 100th Birthday Ronnie!  I’ve FOIA’d your a$$!  (Corbis Bettman.)

Dateline Simi Valley.  When I look back at the past four years of the blog, I have filed several series of posts while on spring research trips.  Zenith has a rather unique spring break structure, as I may have mentioned:  two weeks in the middle of March.  I don’t know any other colleague who has two weeks off; my guess is that there will be some kind of sunset on this little oddity sooner rather than later.  Zenith is currently in a homogenizing mood, and everything we do is becoming more like what everyone else does.

Here is my current list of non-confidential items that fit this category (yes, they have all been reported on in the campus newspaper.) We now have  summer sessions, in which one can mostly take a dizzying array of introductory science courses (they are now imagining a J-term, which every college student…

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May 11, 2009, 12:39 pm

It’s a Girl! A Recent And Partial History of the Nomination of Women To The Supreme Court

The aging Supreme Court was but one motivation for Democrats to unify behind Barack Obama last fall, but it was a big one. In the next eight years, barring an unexpected death or retirement, “Court watchers” (as those of us who care about such things are called in the media) expect up to three vacancies among the tightly divided Supremes. I’m not sure anyone was counting Associate Justice David Souter, 69, as one of the three potential vacancies. But he is setting a good example for the legal world (not to mention all of us in the academic world) by not hanging around until he has to be scraped off the floor to write an opinion.

And so, we await Barack’s first nominee.

As during the last ideological upheaval in 1980, the Obama administration is hinting that the next Associate Justice will be a woman, and probably for the same reason: to firmly suture “women” (a majority of whom

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