Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

“All it takes to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

Wayne LaPierre spouts more nonsense than Dick Cheney.

guns guns

Not much has changed in that other Philadelphia

Remember Philadelphia Mississippi, that quaint little Jim Crow town in the deepest of the deep South?

You don’t? Let me refresh your memory . . .

. . .  it had long disfranchised  African Americans and subjected them to racial segregation and Jim Crow laws. Philadelphia in June 1964 was the site of the murders of thee civil right activists: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. . . .

Ku Klux Klan members (including Cecil Ray Price, the deputy sheriff of Neshoba County) released the three young men from jail, took them to an isolated spot, and killed them.

The film, Mississippi Burning tells the whole sordid tale.

Philadelphia changed on the surface, but as the years went on politicians running for office knew its heart was as black as ever. So it was just 14 years later that the most cynical and blatant dog-whistle ever heard from a political figure was delivered to the good folks of that very town. The location, of course, was the statement, as much as the words.

On August 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave his first post-convention speech at the Neshoba County Fair after being officially chosen as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. He said, “I believe in states’ rights … I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.” He went on to promise to “restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them”.[

Philadelphia made a little news again just yesterday.

PHILADELPHIA, Mississippi — Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday it is “unfortunate” that a predominantly white church in the state wouldn’t allow a black couple to get married in its sanctuary.

. . . The Rev. Stan Weatherford, pastor of the church, married the Wilsons at a predominantly black church nearby. The wedding was moved after some congregants at First Baptist told Weatherford they opposed allowing black people to marry in the church.

“As hard as we work to try to convince the rest of the world that Mississippi has changed — and, in fact, we have — to see an unfortunate situation like that occur is very disappointing,” Bryant said Thursday in response to questions from The Associated Press.

William Faulkner, the most famous literary Son of the South, observed back in the 1950’s, “the past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past.” Yup.

Did you ever think of this?

Sorry Ronnie, you don't make the cut

Good thing Ronald Reagan, a president nearly deified by the right, is not in office today . . . were he, and had he ever signed Grover Norquist’s ‘pledge‘, his 11 tax increases would have doomed him to Jimmy Carter territory. No statues or  monuments would have been raised in his honor.

Mr. Warren Reagan, class warrior

President Ronald Reagan in 1985, speaking in Atlanta:

We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. […] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?

Here’s the video:

via Think Progress

Social Security retirment age is not 65

Fer Elvis’ sake! I can’t bear it any more.

What we hear: the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits is 65. Why, we all know that; it’s SS 101. And we also know that based on that, one of the popular ‘solutions’ to our non-existent SS problem is “raise the age to 67.”

FACT: The age for full benefits hasn’t been 65 since 2005.  At that point, based on the 30-year formula worked out by Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill and passed into law by Congress, the age began adjusting upward by two month increments each year, beginning in 2005. By 2016, the age will be 67. By law. Passed 28 yeas ago.

We need to get the word to our press and our legislators. Before they hunker down to write legislation, they really need to know this:

The social security age is not 65 any more.

Reagan at 100: WTF you clowns doing down there?

RR with Tip O'Neill

Repeatedly documented, but rarely cited in the current kerfuffle over raising the debt ceiling are two things:

  1. 1. Ronald Reagan “repeatedly signed deficit-reduction legislation in the 1980’s that melded annual tax increases with spending cuts just as President Barack Obama is now asking Congress to consider.” from POLITICO via Steve Benen, here, and
  2. Congress raised the debt ceiling under George Bush seven times – every time he asked.

From Benen:

. . . it’s also worth noting that the conservative Republicans of the 1980s were absolutely certain that Reagan’s policy would destroy the economy, and as part of the right’s unyielding track record of failure, they were wrong.

The larger point, though, is that when the 40th president sat down with lawmakers  to work on debt reduction, he accepted as a given that the agreement would include a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The debate would be over the ratio. Indeed, it’s one of the reasons Reagan ended up raising taxes in seven out of the eight years he was in office. (Remember, “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.)

Republicans in Congress balked in 1983. Reagan wrote to then-Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn) about their intransigence. From the letter:

The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.

Now Baker was a Senator I admired for his moderation, and many Republicans in the Congress then may have been right about the dangers of the debt. But that is not the point. Then, as now, they were ignoring the causes and resisting action on the consequences.

More from Benen:

Mike Huckabee recently said, “Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible, time being nominated in this atmosphere of the Republican Party.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had a nearly identical take last year, arguing Reagan “would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”

It’s also worth noting that the GOP never shut down the government when Republican presidents Reagan or Bush or Bush were in office. They did it only when the Democrat Clinton was in office. And now they threaten to do it to this Democratic president.

For the good of the country of course.

Ronald Reagan: union man

Reagan was a long time president of SAG, the Screen Actors’ Guild, or union. Here he is celebrating the Solidarity movement in Poland, which was the very beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. Solidarity was led by Lech Walensa, later President of Poland, but at that time a union boss. Regan: “Those workers remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” And that’s what Solidarity was fighting for – the right to collective bargaining.

The politics of public despair

POSTED BY ORHAN

I’ve been listening to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Ian Murphy prank call to Scott Walker, where Murphy impersonates billionaire David Koch.  Only Walker knows what was in his mind at the time, but a few conclusions about him can be drawn from the exchange.

The word “compromise” is not in Walker’s lexicon: “…if they think I’m caving, they’ve been asleep for the last eight years”, “I’m not negotiating”, “I’ve taken on every major battle in Milwaukee County and won, even in a county where I’m overwhelmingly overpowered politically,…’cause I don’t budge.”

Walker sees his base as consisting of two main groups: 1) wealthy business leaders, and 2) resentful working people, regular people who’ve either been savaged by the system or are just scraping by and are telling themselves, “I don’t have a secure middle class job with benefits and a pension, why should the other guy have those things?”  Today there are a lot of folks like this in America, and Walker taps into this feeling.  He brings up a story in the New York Times that highlights “a guy who was laid off two years ago…he’s been laid off twice by GM…everybody else in his town has had to sacrifice except for all these public employees and it’s about damn time they do”.  Back in the thirties, muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens captured it perfectly when he quoted a Pennsylvania politician, “We know that public despair is possible and that that is good politics.

Walker is a conservative true believer with the sense that he is riding the crest of history.  He talks about conservatives the way evangelicals talk about themselves: he refers to people as being “one of us” or “not one of us”.  He refers to a Democratic senator who made a lot of money in the private sector as “a little more open-minded” but “he’s not a…conservative. He’s just a pragmatist.”  Towards the end of the call he likens Ronald Reagan’s firing of the air-traffic controllers to the “first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism” and compares it to the current situation in Wisconsin: “this is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history”, “…we’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons, and it’s all about getting our freedoms back”, “The bottom line is we’re gonna get the world moving here because it’s the right thing to do.”

The notion that Walker’s legislation is an emergency measure required by the current crisis is ludicrous.  It’s just a continuation of the agenda he’s
championed his entire career: privatization, deregulation, tax cuts, cuts in social services to poor and working people.  And it’s been the plan all along.

Like father, like son

I went looking for an appropriate video for Valentine’s Day – cuz I’m such a frackin’ romantic – and I came across this. You’d be well advised to skip the  music – just watch this one-minute introduction by Ronald Reagan, circa 1960. (Until I saw this, I was sure there wasn’t a hint of the late President in the face of  his son Ron Jr.  I guess I didn’t look hard enough.)

My sentiments exactly

 RJ Matson, Roll Call  via http://www.cagle.com/

Serendipity: Mike Stark and Rush Limbaugh and me

kaystreet at The Fifth Column tells us about a conversation on The Rush Limbaugh Show when caller blogger Mike Stark succeeded in getting through on the air last week. Stark has done this a few times.)

I heard the conversation in real time – serendipity! I tune in most weeks for about five minutes just to keep track of the current script and was lucky enough to catch what to me was a most entertaining segment.

kaystreet tells us: “Mike called Limbaugh to find out why all the big hoopla about Reagan when Reagan raised taxes, negotiated with terrorists . . . [gave] amnesty to undocumented workers, and he cut and ran from Lebanon.  The kicker is that Mike was quite polite and actually made Limbaugh tongue tied with his remarks.  Limbaugh never answered the question.  Instead, he attacked Mike Stark.”

The transcript is at kaystreet and at Stark’s site, Stark Reports.

The part that I found most interesting was that, Limbaugh’s bloviation at the end of the call clearly showed he was knowledgable enough to have a conversation with Stark about his questions. But he didn’t. He chose instead to insult, attack, and mock. The usual.

And he sits in the US Congress

We do have some odd ones in this new Congressional class. The son of one of our more illustrious VP’s, Dan Quayle, is one of them – of the new guys that is; I really don’t know what he stands for. But never mind, a legacy name is a legacy name and he knew Ronald Reagan, so the young one got a nice op-ed spot at Politico this weekend.

Now, everyone is not a writer. Fine. Nor are all writers mature; indeed not everyone is mature. But we do hope that those who govern us can produce something beyond the sappy sentiments of a sixth grader. Digby at Hullabaloo says “This, by the way, is the reason why America wasn’t supposed to have an aristocracy”.

Sayeth the young Quayle.

“When I was a child, President Ronald Reagan was the nice man who gave us jelly beans when we visited the White House.

I didn’t know then, but I know it now: The jelly beans were much more than a sweet treat that he gave out as gifts. They represented the uniqueness and greatness of America — each one different and special in its own way, but collectively they blended in harmony . . . “

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Reagan meets the Taliban and refers to them as Afghanistan’s founding fathers, despite their remarkable ability to deny even the most fundamental of human rights.*

Ronnie Reagan loved his Founding Fathers (Mujahadeen, aka the Taliban, in Afghanistan) and his Freedom Fighters (the Contras in Nicaragua). The ‘Fathers’ were fighting the Communist ‘menace’ and the ‘Fighters’ an elected leftist government. In Afghanistan, where the Soviets invaded to grab property for a natural gas pipeline, the Taliban prevailed and then Afghans died in the tens of thousands at their hands. In Nicaragua, our chosen right wing dictator and his Contras ultimately were run out by the people and the left wing government, headed by Daniel Ortega – came back into power by election. But Reagan (and his manipulators) got to play lords of the universe. (That ole’ military-industrial complex played a role too . . .)

Blogger futile democracy  has some interesting history on American empire, something that got a long airing here a few days ago. Worth a read.

And given the subject here, let’s remember that today is the 341st day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

*Pix and caption from his post.