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Tuesday June 8, 2004

Well, it wasn't a tragedy--after all the man was 93 years old and had been suffering from Alzheimer's for nearly 10 years. But it was a loss. It was a loss for his family and for the country. Ronald Wilson Reagan was the first great president of my lifetime. Has there been another. No. Not yet. We'll miss you Dutch. He introduced a generation to the merits of conservatism. He ignored his detractors and went with what he believed in. He had honesty and integrity. Most of all, he was right. The wall came down. Democracy is burgeoning in Eastern Europe. The Cold war is over. America is better and the world is better because of him. After all, Jimmah Carter has honesty and integrity. Love of God and Country. But he is completely wrong in his world view. That's what makes Ronald Reagan a great President. After all, it's not about how much you care or how you look. It's all about (or should be) about what you say and what you do.

The media never did much care for Reagan. The terms "amiable dunce" and "teflon President" come to mind. They are, however, much kinder in his passing than they ever were when he was alive. That said, there is still some vitriol out there:

Did Reagan, piling cruise missiles into Europe, dreaming star satellite dreams of zapping bad hats, truly win anything? Didn't he just watch the Soviet Union self-destruct on his watch? Was Reagan around for the Prague spring which told the first story of an empire's disintegration? Did he choose the moribund gerontocracy of Brezhnev and Chernenko? The plain fact, which nobody discerned, is that everything the west said about unsustainable economic systems and ramshackle bureaucracies was right: the plain fact was that Soviet hegemony couldn't last--and the "war" was mostly one of mutual incomprehension. Give Ronnie credit for not dropping the ball near the basket, but don't make him FDR in the process.

Poor Johnny King. His little head can't fit through the door:

WHEN ABC News broke the sad news of Ronald Reagan's death Saturday afternoon, it sent its competitors into a frenzy. The press corps traveling with President Bush in Normandy first heard the news when ABC's White House reporter Terry Moran began doing a live report in their midst. The reaction, according to one eyewitness, was "total chaos people running ev erywhere, knocking into things." CNN's John King yelled into his cellphone that CNN had been beaten and was so upset he threatened to quit. King ended his tan trum by throwing his cellphone to the ground. Bad move: his meltdown was captured on tape. So just how did ABC get such a big jump? The network refused com ment, but insiders credit ABC News chief David Westin. Apparently, work ing the phones produces better results than throwing them.

Zimbabwe's new land reform programs will be a huge success:

He did not say when the nationalisation process would be completed. "In the end all land shall be state land and there will be no such thing called private land," Mr Nkomo said. "It will now be the state which will enable the utilisation of the land for national prosperity."

Based on the Stalinesque model, the state will seize all farms. Then Robert Mugabe will be able to join the pantheon of truly evil tyrants. Zimbabwe will continue to decline. But, here's the goal.

In a word: Bully!

The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously for a U.S.-British resolution that formally ends the occupation of Iraq on June 30 and authorises a U.S.-led force to keep the peace. "It means full sovereignty for Iraq. It means a new age in hopefully very pleasant Iraqi history," said Iraq's new interim president, Ghazi al-Yawar, who is visiting Washington.