key reagan, bush adviser darman dies

By Times Wires
Published January 26, 2008


Richard Darman, 64, an influential adviser to Republican presidents who had a hand in Ronald Reagan's landmark 1981 tax cuts and the 1990 increases that marked George Bush's retreat from his "no new taxes" pledge, died Friday (Jan. 25, 2008) after battling leukemia. Mr. Darman was chief architect of a 1990 compromise designed to reduce the federal budget deficit, which drew praise from many economic analysts but also included tax increases that broke Bush's 1988 election promise, "Read my lips, no new taxes!" Although the change of policy is partly blamed for Bush's re-election defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992, it contributed to balancing the federal budgets in the late 1990s. Mr. Darman had a reputation for being so crafty that "Darmanesque" became a word to describe clever and Machiavellian maneuvering.

Mukasey may fight drug clemency

Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Friday that the Justice Department might attempt to derail new sentencing guidelines that are expected to allow the early release of thousands of convicted drug offenders. Federal judges in Portland, Ore., have already truncated the prison sentences of five defendants convicted of crack cocaine offenses, getting a jump on sentencing guidelines that were not scheduled to go into effect until March. The reduced sentences are believed to be the first in a nationwide program that ultimately could cut the time served of more than 19,500 U.S. prisoners. Mukasey renewed his concern that the release of so many prisoners - including up to 1,600 in March alone - could cause violent crime to spike.

Push is renewed for ATF nominee

Supporters of President Bush's pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are renewing efforts to persuade Idaho's Republican senators to drop their opposition. The nomination of Michael Sullivan, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, has been in limbo since mid December, when Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo issued separate "holds," citing concerns that the ATF has become overly aggressive in enforcing gun laws.

Nonsecret's out: Bush picks Dallas

In a meeting with mayors this week, President Bush confirmed what has been an open secret: He'll move to Dallas when his term is over. Bush greeted a dozen mayors gathered in the White House and stopped when he came to Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. "There's my new mayor," Bush said, according to Leppert.