3-4-87 We finally made it back to eighty degrees [Fahrenheit]. The last [sic; should be “most recent”] time this happened was 10 February, more than three weeks ago. To celebrate the warmth, I spent an hour reading Grant Gilmore’s The Death of Contract under a palm tree near the Social Sciences Building. [Grant Gilmore, The Death of Contract (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1974); I finished reading this book for the first time on 30 January 1982.] The wind was blowing strongly out of the east, but it was warm and sunny, just as I like it. I basked in the sun’s rays. As for the Gilmore book, I finished it and later outlined it in a mere three pages. This has raised my spirits, not only because I knocked 150 pages off my [preliminary-exam] reading list, but because Gilmore writes well and wittily. I chuckled as he described the sordid history of contract law—how Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, for example, twisted and turned cases to make them fit his objectivist theory of law. Now I’m moving on to a famous article by Richard Epstein, “A Theory of Strict Liability.” [Richard A. Epstein, “A Theory of Strict Liability,” The Journal of Legal Studies 2 (January 1973): 151-204.] [John] Rawls is on hold for a couple of days while I get my teeth back into some legal issues.
President [Ronald] Reagan gave a twelve-minute televised speech this evening. His hope and intention, it seems, was to respond to the recent Tower Commission report on the Iran-Contra fiasco and perhaps put the affair behind him. But I doubt that that will happen. The speech was followed by the same sort of questioning that occurred before—namely, whether the president intends to change his relaxed management style, what he knew about the arms deal with Iran, and whether he is mentally competent. It’s a sad day when the very competence of our president is in question, but it is. Reagan is very good at reading prepared speeches from a teleprompter, but he fudges issues and avoids unpleasant facts during press conferences. Lately we’ve learned that he sleeps and tells anecdotes during cabinet meetings. I frankly question the man’s intelligence and motivation to fulfill the responsibilities of his office. But Americans still love him personally, and as long as they do, he’ll be safe. I see no resignation or impeachment on the horizon.
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