June 8, 2004

The River is More Beautiful Without the Bridge

* Everybody's weighing in: Morrissey on Reagan's death. excerpt:

"MANCHESTER music legend Morrissey sparked controversy when he announced Ronald Reagan's death live on stage during a concert - and then declared he wished it was George Bush who had died instead.

"Thousands of fans at Dublin Castle, in Ireland, cheered when the ex-Smiths frontman made the announcement that the former American president, who had battled with Alzheimer's Disease, had passed away.

"And an even bigger cheer followed when Morrissey - who is no stranger to controversy - then said he wished it had been the current President, George W Bush, who had died.

"Fan Tony Murray said: 'He commented about the death of Ronald Reagan and when he wished that it was George W instead the crowd went wild.'

* Make sure to read this Billmon post on Mary L. Walker: Christian, Republican, Patriot, Torture Attorney.

* Krugman on the tax cuts of Reagan and Bush. excerpt:

"Over the course of this week we'll be hearing a lot about Ronald Reagan, much of it false. A number of news sources have already proclaimed Mr. Reagan the most popular president of modern times. In fact, though Mr. Reagan was very popular in 1984 and 1985, he spent the latter part of his presidency under the shadow of the Iran-Contra scandal. Bill Clinton had a slightly higher average Gallup approval rating, and a much higher rating during his last two years in office.

"We're also sure to hear that Mr. Reagan presided over an unmatched economic boom. Again, not true: the economy grew slightly faster under President Clinton, and, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the after-tax income of a typical family, adjusted for inflation, rose more than twice as much from 1992 to 2000 as it did from 1980 to 1988.

"But Ronald Reagan does hold a special place in the annals of tax policy, and not just as the patron saint of tax cuts. To his credit, he was more pragmatic and responsible than that; he followed his huge 1981 tax cut with two large tax increases. In fact, no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people. This is not a criticism: the tale of those increases tells you a lot about what was right with President Reagan's leadership, and what's wrong with the leadership of George W. Bush."

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