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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reagan rumble

A family feud is the best publicity that a family-penned political tell-all can get. So, things are looking up for Ronald Reagan Jr.'s new memoir, "My Father at 100."

The book contains several passages in which Ron Jr. suggests that his father, former president Ronald Reagan, displayed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease while he was still in office. President Reagan did not publicly disclose his diagnosis until 1994, after he had left the White House. "My heart sank as he floundered his way through his responses. He looked tired and bewildered," writes Ron, recalling his father's 1984 debate with Walter Mondale.

Those claims have raised the ire of his brother, Michael Reagan, who is vigorously defending his dad's legacy. "I know publishers want to have that 'ah-ha' moment, something to put out to promote the book. But to go to this extent to just tell falsehoods and lies and conspiracy theories to get it out there, is outrageous," he told the Republic of Dish's Annie Groer.

Taking to Twitter, he was less civil. "My brother seems to want [to] sell out his father to sell books . . . my father did not suffer from Alzheimers in the 80,s," he wrote in a posting on Friday. The micro-message tirade continued throughout the weekend. "Ron, my brother, was an embarrassment to my father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother," he wrote Saturday afternoon. By Sunday evening, Reagan still hadn't let the matter drop. "The issue here is Did our Father have Alzheimers when he was President. He did not."

Then he added: "Pray for my brother."

It's a girl

Actress Nicole Kidman and singer Keith Urban, both 43, have announced the arrival of a baby girl, Faith Margaret Kidman Urban, born via surrogate on Dec. 28, People reports. Their first child, Sunday Rose, was born in 2008.

'Crossed the line'

Philip Berk - president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that runs the Golden Globe awards - scolded Ricky Gervais on Monday, criticizing the comedian for cracking mean-spirited jokes while hosting the Sunday night program. Many of the barbs were at the expense of the television and film actors who were attending. "He definitely crossed the line," Berk told the Hollywood Reporter.

Spotted

Sasha and Malia Obama were at the Kennedy Center on Saturday night. A source caught a glimpse of the president's daughters - accompanied by their mother, Michelle, and a few friends - at the Opera House, catching one of the final performances of "South Pacific."

- Aaron Leitko

From Web and wire reports.


© 2011 The Washington Post Company

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