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The Rise, fall, and legacy of the Office of Technology Assessment

On October 13, 1972, the Technology Assessment Act was put into law as a bipartisan effort to promote scientific understanding for Congress members. The act created the nonpartisan Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), which released over 750 studies in its 24 years of operation. The OTA was defunded in 1995, part of Newt Gingrich's efforts to "dismantle Congressional institutions that employed people with the knowledge, training and experience to know a harebrained idea when they saw it." (Bruce Bartlett, NYT Economix blog). It was seen by some as "Reagan's Revenge" (Google books preview) for OTA's critical reports (Gbp) in 1985 (PDF) and 1988 (PDF) of the potential for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, aka "Star Wars"). Chris Mooney looked back on OTA in Requiem for an office (PDF), and both the Federation of American Scientists and Princeton University have OTA report archives online. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 13, 2014 - 26 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

The Reagans Speak Out on Drugs, 25 years later

25 years ago, the Reagans spoke out on drugs, and they were, rather surprisingly, in support of a variety of substances. This wasn't a new video showing a sudden change of heart, but the work of two years, editing a longer speech to the nation that was originally broadcast in 1986. The new video couldn't be seen on TV, but was shared, traded, and bootlegged on VHS tapes. The case was originally labeled "A uniquely edited version of a real televised address to the American people," noting that it was made by Cliff Roth, an audio/visual geek and teacher who had access to a high quality film reel and audio source, plus the time and resources to make a piece of "editing art".
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 5, 2013 - 25 comments

FDR: "People who are hungry, people who are out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."

The United States was engaged in the largest two-front war of its, or any nation's history. Though victory was not yet certain, there were discussions on a multi-national level regarding the future peace, and on the President of the United States was looking to the post-war prospects for the nation. With that in mind, the annual address of the President to Congress and the nation was summed up in one word: Security. "And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security -- in a family of nations." This was Franklin D. Roosevelt's third-to-last Fireside Chat, presented on Tuesday, January 11, 1944, which included what he proposed to be the Second Bill of Rights. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 16, 2010 - 67 comments

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine. [more inside]
posted by Astro Zombie on Aug 18, 2009 - 56 comments

Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography

Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography From the writers of Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography. [via]
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth on Sep 8, 2007 - 23 comments

Tim O'Brien: Every Time You...ah, forget it.

Tim O’Brien – the painter and illustrator, not the writer – is so good with Photoshop (not to mention paintbrushes) that he can make Ronald Reagan cry.
posted by gottabefunky on Mar 16, 2007 - 40 comments

Reagan should be on a $3 bill

Reagan should be on a $3 bill "For the funeral of Ronald Reagan, they took the body from Beverly Hills to Simi Valley, the white Los Angeles suburb, where it stayed for a day and a half or so then they drove it in one of these two hearses to the airport and flew it to Washington and then they had a march and afterwards put the casket into the Capitol for crowds to pass by and now there was to be another march and a religous service and then a drive to the airport, where the casket will be shuttled back to the airport south of Los Angeles and in a hearse to the final ceremony at his library on Friday. That is quite a funeral. They buried George Washingon in half the time. You keep thinking of Harry Truman, whose code was, "Do not impose." He left an order that there were to be no eulogies at his funeral."
posted by Postroad on Jun 11, 2004 - 104 comments

Margaret Thatcher writes about Reagan

Flashback: Margaret Thatcher writes about Ronald Reagan. President Reagan saw instinctively that pessimism itself was the disease and that the cure for pessimism is optimism. He set about restoring faith in the prospects of the American dream — a dream of boundless opportunity built on enterprise, individual effort, and personal generosity. He infused his own belief in America's economic future in the American people. That was farsighted. It carried America through the difficult early days of the 1981-82 recession, because people are prepared to put up with sacrifices if they know that those sacrifices are the foundations of future prosperity.
posted by David Dark on Jun 7, 2004 - 56 comments

Juan Cole remembers Reagan.

Juan Cole remembers Reagan. Cole: I did not say anything yesterday about Ronald Reagan's death. The day a person dies he has a right to be left alone. But yesterday is now history, and Reagan's legacy should not pass without comment.
posted by skallas on Jun 7, 2004 - 25 comments

R.I.P. R.W.R.

Breaking History: Ronald Reagan dead at 93.
Will today be marked as the culmination of his achievements or the "end of the Reagan Era"?
MeFites are advised to please avoid piling onto the subject or the messenger
posted by wendell on Jun 5, 2004 - 415 comments

CBS may cancel 'Reagans' mini-series over GOP protests.

CBS may cancel 'The Reagans' mini-series over GOP protests. Rep. John Dingall has some thoughts on the matter: As someone who served with President Reagan, and in the interest of historical accuracy, please allow me to share with you some of my recollections of the Reagan years that I hope will make it into the final cut of the mini-series: $640 Pentagon toilets seats; ketchup as a vegetable; union busting; firing striking air traffic controllers; Iran-Contra; selling arms to terrorist nations; trading arms for hostages; retreating from terrorists in Beirut; lying to Congress; financing an illegal war in Nicaragua; visiting Bitburg cemetery; a cozy relationship with Saddam Hussein; shredding documents; Ed Meese; Fawn Hall; Oliver North; James Watt; apartheid apologia; the savings and loan scandal; voodoo economics; record budget deficits; double digit unemployment; farm bankruptcies; trade deficits; astrologers in the White House; Star Wars; and influence peddling.
posted by skallas on Nov 4, 2003 - 102 comments

Because they don't take American Express

I'll take the Ronald Reagan and JonBenet Ramsey velvet paintings please. Do you accept John Wayne Gacy Discover Cards?
posted by MrBaliHai on Jul 13, 2003 - 8 comments

Assassinating foreign leaders: Okay!

Is trying to assassinate a foreign leader illegal? Executive Order 12333, signed by President Reagan, says "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination," which confirmed and expanded the bans on assassination laid down by his two prior presidential predecessors. So why is the US government targeting Saddam Hussein and his sons? Has the executive order been secretly (and legitimately) revoked? Should it be? Does it even need to be revoked, even if just for appearance's sake? Has ignoring or revoking it been part of the plan all along? Does the Fourth Convention of the Hague really forbid assassination as well?
posted by Mo Nickels on Apr 9, 2003 - 49 comments

THESE PAGES ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL REAGAN'S DEATH.

THESE PAGES ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL REAGAN'S DEATH. Like looking into the future, Scripps Howard News Service has produced a 12 page newspaper insert that serves as a touching tribute to Ronald Reagan. Promise not to read any of it until he's really dead, okay?
posted by mathowie on Apr 20, 2002 - 45 comments

This a bronze sculpted bust of President Ronald Reagan that Arnold Schwarzenegger commisioned.Did he get his money's worth?
posted by BarneyFifesBullet on Mar 20, 2002 - 36 comments

"Why we talk about Reagan"

"Why we talk about Reagan"
posted by bunnyfire on Feb 8, 2002 - 81 comments

The Reagan Papers?

The Reagan Papers? "The confidential memos, letters and briefing papers passed among Ronald Reagan and his top advisers were to have come out in January -- 12 years after Reagan left office, as established by post-Watergate laws.

But the White House counsel's office asked the National Archives to delay the release until at least June 21 so government lawyers can look at the files that researchers and others are waiting to dig through. "
posted by owillis on Jun 7, 2001 - 12 comments

A Reaganesque Metro station

A Reaganesque Metro station The airport, the subway station... What's next?
posted by matteo on Apr 28, 2001 - 33 comments

Bush says "Nuh-uh" to Reagan Memorial

Bush says "Nuh-uh" to Reagan Memorial Good googly-moogly, Dubya does something right!!! Oh, gawd and I'm agreeing with his decision. I need to go wash myself.
posted by ratbastard on Mar 9, 2001 - 21 comments

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