- The Washington Times
Monday, May 19, 2014

There are those who zealously guard the legacy of Ronald Reagan, in an era when just the Reagan name is bandied about by press and politicians as a multi-purpose, brandlike entity. There’s Reaganesque, Reagan-like, the anti-Reagan. The list goes on. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, however, is there to ensure the Reagan legacy remain authentic, and true to the values of the man who inspired it. The organization actually holds registered trademarks on many Reagan references. So there. Come June 5, the foundation will commemorate the 25th year since Reagan left the White House, and the tenth year since the nation mourned his passing.

On hand for the daylong event: Columnist and former speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who will moderate a panel discussion parsing the continued impact of Reagan’s life and times; former Reagan White House Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary James Baker; Time Magazine Executive Editor Mike Duffy; and Steven Hayward, Lou Cannon, and Craig Shirley, a trio of esteemed Reagan biographers.

“As 2016 approaches, it will be the 40th anniversary of the real launch of Reagan’s 1980 presidential run, which began in the ashes of his challenge to Gerald Ford in 1976. Between 1976 and 1980, Reagan’s philosophy developed into a distinctive form of American conservatism based on the spiritual individual and not the state,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

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“It is no accident that his greatest support always came from young Americans, because he articulated intellectual optimism. He was constantly challenging the status quo of the establishment, of Washington and of the Republican Party. Many in the GOP invokes Reagan’s name but too few understand what we now call Reaganism,” he observes. Find information about the big doings here: reaganfoundation.org.



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— Catch-all term for media coverage coined by New York Magazine for New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, who was abruptly fired six days ago.

“Jillghazi. Unbelievable, yet completely believable coming from the ivory tower-dwelling, self-involved media,” notes Twitchy.com, the Twitter aggregation site.


There’s new blood at the American Conservative Union, which has expanded its board of directors by nine people. The distinguished population now includes a pollster, former lawmakers and strategists with an eye on key voter demographics.

“Each of our members come from different backgrounds but all have made significant contributions to the conservative movement,” says Al Cardenas, chairman of the group. “We’re pleased to have them join us as we celebrate 50 years and build the future of our organization.”

The board itself is led by First Vice Chairman Tom Winter, newly-elected Second Vice Chairman Matt Schlapp, Treasurer Becky Norton Dunlop, Secretary Jameson Campaigne and past national Chairman David A. Keene, now editorial page editor for The Washington Times.

The nine new members bristle with credentials, including Bob Beauprez, a former member of the House now running for governor of Colorado; Ron Christie, former deputy assistant to Vice President Cheney and special assistant to former President George W. Bush for domestic policy; national pollster Kellyanne Conway; former House Majority Leader and author Tom DeLay; former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno; 60 Plus Association President Amy Noone Frederick; former Kentucky Rep. Anne Northup; Ned Ryun, founder of Voter Gravity, a former writer for Mr. Bush and son of former Olympic medalist Rep. Jim Ryun, Kentucky Republican; and former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Mark Stephens, now a political strategist.


There are four new stars on the CIA Memorial Wall. That makes 111 stars altogether in the lobby of the federal agency, each symbolizing a member of the intelligence community who died in the line of duty since the CIA was founded in 1947. In keeping with the clandestine nature of things, there are no names, only stars. Four were added Monday to honor those killed in 2013.

“Each of the 111 stars carved into the marble wall behind me is an expression of love, respect and eternal devotion. Together, they silently testify to nearly seven decades of valor and dedication, virtue and sacrifice, all on behalf of our republic,” CIA Director John O. Brennan told the hundreds gathered in respect and remembrance.

“We share your pride in them and what they achieved. We too know the measure of their strong character and generous spirit,” Mr. Brennan said.

Each of the four families of the fallen were presented a marble replica of their “loved one’s star,” the agency says.


How critical is the nexus between space, national security, technology and future competition? Oh, it’s critical all right, and a powerful magnet for, well, brass. The “global space community” has assembled, according to organizers, for the Space Foundation’s 30th annual Space Symposium, now underway in scenic, but strategic Colorado Springs. Just a few names in attendance: Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper; NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden; USAF Gen. William L. Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command; Lt. Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, commander, 14th Air Force; Letitia A. Long, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; and Eric. L. Fannin, undersecretary of the Air Force.

Through Thursday, follow their far-reaching doings at Spacesymposium.org


The fact that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not mention Israel once during a pivotal speech on Sunday night did not go unnoticed. A defender is at the ready, though.

“I have watched with increasing alarm as Jewish leaders have come out to criticize Gov. Christie about his speech at our International Champions of Jewish Values Gala Awards Dinner,” said event organizer Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who praised the governor’s call for a moral-minded America with a steel-clad mission.

“Gov. Christie articulated the need for an American foreign policy whose bedrock is the Jewish emphasis on the infinite value of life and the eternal call to justice. For all those who wanted Gov. Christie to connect his address specifically to Israel, I remind them that America should not be supporting Israel because the Jewish community appreciates it but because Israel’s cause is just,” Rabbi Boteach observes.

“Developing a moral American foreign policy that supports nations that battle evil terrorists and does not force them to make peace with parties who seek the destruction of innocent life is the perfect way to support Israel. Simply stated, promoting universal Jewish values is one of the most direct ways to promote and protect the Jewish state.”


• 77 percent of likely voters in battleground states and districts this year would not be “moved at all” if they knew their member of Congress was caught in an extramarital affair.

• 69 percent disapprove of Republican in Congress, 64 percent disapprove of Democrats.

• 58 percent would not be affected if they knew their member of Congress was caught buying cocaine.

• 53 percent say their lawmaker should stand by their principles at all times, even if it sacrifices benefits for their district; 44 percent choose their district’s benefits over principles.

• 51 percent say they have a pessimistic outlook about the U.S.; 47 percent feel optimistic.

• 46 percent would vote for a Republican candidate if the election were today; 38 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate.

Source: A Politico poll of 867 likely voters “in competitive House and Senate races” conducted May 2-13.

Hubbub and murmurs to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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