I hate Ronald Reagan. Oh how I hate him. Thus, Ronald Reagan - The Bonzo Years is a fun read. As it goes through his presidency in chronological order and has some terrific gems like the following:
Sen Bob Packwood (R-OR) claims President Reagan frequently offers up transparent fictional anecdotes as if they were real. "We've got a $120 billion deficit coming," says Packwood, "and the President says, 'You know, a young man went into a grocery store and he had an orange in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other, and he paid for the orange with food stamps and he took the change and paid for the vodka. That's what's wrong.' And we just shake our heads."
"In England, if a criminal carried a gun, even though he didn't use it, he was not tried for burglary or theft or whatever he was doing. He was tried for first degree murder and hung if he was found guilty" - President Reagan citing a favorite example of British law. (see 4/16/82)
"Well, it's a good story, though. It made the point, didn't it?" - White House spokesman Larry Speakes on being informed that President Reagan's story about British gun law is "just not true."
Regarding the 750,000 supporters who showed up for the largest disarmament demonstration in US history in Central Park, President Reagan opines that "the Commies are behind it."
President Reagan tells reporters about "the ten commandments of Nikolai Lenin...the guiding principles of communism," among them "that promises are like pie crust, made to be broken." Soviet scholars claim that no such commandments exist, and point out that Lenin's name was Vladimir.
Now check out his video guide to Russia.
I have to say, the production values from the CIA are a bit more than what I expected. Bravo to them. Now they should go work for the travel channel.