Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hannity's Bankrollers

And never answers it. But scroll down to see who bankrolls Sean Hannity's show.

This question from an elitist and overpaid celebrity millionaire, Sean Hannity, on Fox News (aka GOP TV News). Who is bankrolling the right-wing propaganda taking place at Fox News (aka GOP TV News)? More without @newtgingrich right after the break (in Sean's sanity).

Hannity claimed that Ashton Kutcher would have "blood on his hands" if there was another terrorist attack. Why? Because Kutcher exercised his 1st Amendment right by expressing his opinion. And Republican mouthpiece Hannity gave Aston a stern finger-wagging and this warning:

So to those on the left feigning moral outrage over what President Trump is doing, let me be clear. Pay very close attention. The next time a radical Islamist from abroad yells Allahu akbar and kills innocent Americans, you will have blood on your hands! And yes, Chuck Schumer, I'm talking to you. And Ashton Kutcher, whatever your name is, I'm talking to you. Be warned.

Ooooh! Better watch out, Ashton. Sean Hannity is channeling his inner Barney Fife.

And now, a brief run-down of Sean's Ego Show and who is bankrolling elitist and overpaid celebrity millionaire, Sean Hannity, on Fox News (aka GOP TV News):

Liberty Mutual Insurance (insurance agents)
Subaru (cars)
Namely.com (Matt Straz, Founder and CEO - HR Software)

Newt Gingrich - Blame Obama first. Fear mongering. Zzzzz.

Coricidin (Bayer cold medicine)
VisitingAngels.com (Assisted living)
Publishers Clearing House (They're still around?)
Jenny Craig (Trump only wants "tens")

Jay Sekulow - Mischaracterizing AG as not doing her job (she did by exercising her prosecutorial discretion, just not to Republican Trump's liking). Phone interview. Zzzzz.

Pfizer (Xeljanz drug)
Progressive.com (Insurance)
Dr. Sholls (footware)
Panera Bread (restaurant)
Intel (Computer chips)
Lilly (Jardiance drug)
Land Rover (cars)

Publishers Clearing House (You could win $5000...) #2
Polident (denture destinkafyer)
Capital One (financial svcs)
Peloton (exercise bike)
Good Rx (online drugs)
Rooms To Go (furniture)
Good Rx (online drugs) #2
Navy Federal Credit Union (Bank svcs)
Morgan & Morgan (lawyers)

Laura Ingram - General wingnuttieness. Everyone's phoning it in, Sean. Can't you take a hint?

Navy Federal Credit Union (Bank svcs) #2
HarvestRight.Com (Food preservation)
Nutrisystem.com (Trump only wants "tens")
ADT (alarm systems)
Liberty University (School of Falwell)
MileIQ (phone app)
TommieCopper.com (?)
Jenny Craig (Trump only wants "tens") #2
John Deer (Farm Equipment)
Mobile Strike (software game)
H&R Block (Taxes)

(from 1/30/17 show viewed via DirecTV in the ATL market)

And that's about it. Pretty rote, bland, boilerplate right-wing Republican propaganda, delivered by an elitist, overpaid, celebrity millionaire who looks and sounds like Wayne Newton suffering from a colo-rectal porcupine infestation. No surprise that Tucker beat him out of the better time slot.

With all the drugs and such being advertised, I'm surprised there were no ads for sleep aids. Oh, wait! The whole Hannity show is a sleep aid.



Monday, January 30, 2017

Let's Do It Again

BUT, most importantly:

The Company You Keep...

But Republicans are not anti-Semetic. No!
Republicans are not anti-women.
Republicans are not racists.
Republicans are not fascists.
Republicans are not xenophobes.
Republicans are not plutocrats.
Republicans are not theocrats.
Republicans are not anti-American.

You know the independents who voted Republican last election are frantically repeating this mantra to themselves now. They may also be clicking their heels three times while saying this. But your vote has consequences.

Americans Generally Like America

Therefore, they don't like the anti-American policies of Republican Trump.

Weak Leader A Week Later

The orange cartoonish character's first week on the job 
(as portrayed by the yellowish cartoon character):

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Turn Tom Price's District BLUE!


When you've lost Murdoch's Wall Street Journal...

Three months after investing in four companies with manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary introduced legislation that would directly benefit those companies. 
The proposed House legislation by Rep. Tom Price—which would have made permanent an expiring tax deduction for Puerto Rican facilities—didn’t pass, and the tax deduction expired Jan. 1. And Mr. Price, a Georgia Republican, testified last week that his broker made all of his stock investment decisions except those involving an Australian biomedical firm. 
The bill nevertheless marks another instance in which Mr. Price was involved in legislation that could have benefited his stock holdings. Earlier, The Wall Street Journal had reported that Mr. Price had invested in the Australian company after voting for legislation that eventually could help it. Senate investigators said late Monday they have found a variety of discrepancies in those disclosures... 

2020 Vision

Republicans: Evil or Stupid?

Both: Stupidly evil.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Republican's Alt-America - Week 1

Image via Rolling Stone

A couple of responses regarding the latest anti-American action by the Republican Party and their leader Trump:

Aaron Levie, CEO of Box:
On every level — moral, humanitarian, economic, logical, etc. — this ban is wrong and is completely antithetical to the principles of America.
That’s a proper response.
Tim Cook, in a company-wide email:
I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.
There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.
Good for him for stating his opposition, but it could have been stronger, and should have mentioned Trump by name. 
This ban hits particularly close to Apple’s heart: Steve Jobs was the biological son of a Syrian immigrant. Tim Cook should call that out, repeatedly.

Via the excellent tech web site, Daring Fireball.

In another DF post:
So there you go. Trump’s personal Android phone is more than likely a Samsung Galaxy S3, released in 2012, and which last received a software update in mid-2015, with firmware based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.As noted in the intro, we don’t know for sure that Trump is still using this specific Galaxy S3. The two NYT reports conflict on whether he turned it in, or is still using it to fire out tweets from the White House. But if he is, and it’s the same consumer GS3 model he was apparently using as of February 2016, it’s safe to say it’s a good three years out of step with the latest Android security updates. Many Android security scares have come and gone since the GS3 got its last update in August of 2015.
It’s ridiculous if he’s actually still using that old phone. It’s a national security risk.
Trump himself is a security risk. The old Samsung phone is just accessory after the fact. 

Poetry Corner

Today's action item is to read Pastor Martin Niemöller's poem.

Nigel Trumpnel

None more black.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Inauguration 1933

Back when American presidents weren't enamored by Russian dictators.

This is a day of national consecration. And I am certain that on this day my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days… 

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men 
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order: there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments, so that there will be an end to speculation with other people's money; and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency… 
For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.

For reference.

Another American Tragedy

Fifty years ago today, three American heroes died while working to make
John F. Kennedy's dream of putting a man on the moon, a reality.

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts during a routine test on the launchpad. The accident shocked NASA as the agency was rushing to meet President Kennedy's 1961 challenge to have men on the moon by the end of the decade. 
The test was a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 1 crew — Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. The ultimate goal was to check out the command module, NASA's first three-man spacecraft that would take astronauts to the moon. 
The crew was rehearsing the real launch, which was about a month away. They were suited up and in the capsule running through checklists and testing equipment. 
But something sparked in the oxygen-rich environment. Within seconds, the capsule filled with flames, smoke and toxic gases... 
Only 21 months later, NASA sent humans back into space aboard Apollo 7. And less than a year after that, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed Apollo 11 on the moon. 
FiftyAstronaut Michael Collins was also on that mission. He says if the fire on Apollo 1 hadn't happened, it's likely a similar accident would have occurred in space — and that could have led to the program's cancellation. 
"Without it, very likely, we would have not landed on the moon as the president had wished by the end of the decade," Collins says.

Ironically, Grissom had previous experience with a poorly designed hatch system that nearly cost him his life just a few years earlier. Worth noting: Grissom's reputation as a "hatch-blower" seems to have been resolved in his favor. Here is an excerpt from "This Space Available" blog:

Astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom is inserted into his Liberty Bell 7 capsule on the morning of July 21, 1961. 
He would soon be embroiled in a controversy that lingers to this day.  Photo Credit: NASA
An interesting coda to the Liberty Bell 7 story occurred during another Mercury mission. Over a year later, Wally Schirra flew the program's flawless third orbital mission, Sigma 7, in October 1962. At the end of Schirra's flight, he further vindicated Grissom's story about the hatch blowing independently of any intervention. Burgess' book, Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissomdiscusses this at length, and also contains testimonies by fellow Mercury astronaut Donald K. “Deke” Slayton and NASA aeronautical engineer Sam Beddingfield that Grissom would have had a deep bone-bruise on his hand had he manually blown the hatch. 

Heros all.

Free-For-All Friday - Hearing The Stars

Thirty years ago I was working on an audio project and had read about the "sound" of the Voyager spacecraft as it passed through the magnetic field of Jupiter. I contacted JPL to see how I could get a copy of this sound. The guy on the other end of the line was incredulous that I was asking for this, but a couple of weeks later I received the cassette tape. It was a bit underwhelming - a sound like semi-organized and undulating static. I was probably expecting something on the level of Holst.

Today I listened to this 10-minute TED Talk of a blind astronomer who developed a way to "hear" the stars in the sky. Her "sonification" sounds only a little more listenable than the Voyager static, but her story is much more interesting.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

WSJ on Trump: "Amateur Hour"


NSFW. Obviously. 

The Wall Street Journal is alternating between WTF mode and SMH mode with the latest BS from little Donny. Here's an excerpt from today's WSJ article:

Donald Trump’s path to the Presidency as an outsider always implied on-the-job-training. This week’s lesson: The world is not a Republican primary. President Trump’s Twitter broadsides against Mexico have unleashed a political backlash that has now become a diplomatic crisis with a friendly neighbor 

Mr. Trump fancies himself a negotiating wizard, but in this case he is out-negotiating himself. The White House announced last weekend that Mr. Trump had asked Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to Washington to talk about trade, immigration and the border. Despite Mr. Trump’s many slights against Mexico during the campaign, Mr. Peña Nieto accepted. 

Mr. Trump proceeded to roll out the red carpet by announcing his plan to build “the wall” on the U.S. southern border that Mexicans of all political stripes consider an insult. On Wednesday he also rolled out press secretary Sean Spicer to aver that “one way or another, as the President has said before, Mexico will pay for it.” 

That cornered the Mexican President, who represents a nation unified by Mr. Trump’s anti-Mexico rhetoric. Late Wednesday Mr. Peña Nieto delivered a short national address repeating that Mexico won’t pay for the wall. The Mexican government also let slip that he might cancel his Washington visit.  

On Thursday morning Mr. Trump tweeted “if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” Mr. Peña Nieto cancelled. Later Thursday Mr. Spicer added confusion with some comments about a border fee as part of tax reform. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to walk that back, but this is amateur hour.

Trump was an embarrassment to America just by being the Republican nominee. That he's occupying the White House is both a mortal embarrassment to this country as well as an insult to all that America stands for. How much more America can stand of Trump is anyone's guess. Most Americans did not want this Republican (or any Republican for that matter) in the White House for any reason. Republican Trump is trying the patience of even the right wingers in the GOP - and he hasn't even been in office for a full week!

Call Feinstein

I’d prefer that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions stayed in Alablabla. 

I was on hold for only about a minute when I called this morning. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Call Trump

Call Republican Trump at the White House and tell him what you think of his policies so far:

Call the President. PHONE NUMBERS: 
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414.

Don't stoop to Trumpian levels. IOW - Be an adult. Speak calmly about one specific position with which you disagree and why. Write it out before you call. State the names of your senators and representative. Tell Republican Trump what action/s you will take to either support or work to defeat your state's congressional representatives' re-election based on their position on this issue. Say thank you, and hang up.

Repeat as necessary.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tom "Name-Your" Price

Georgia's most ethically-challenged Republican representative.

Join the ACLU

There are several good civil rights groups out there so take your pick and write a check. My preference is the ACLU which has been defending the Bill of Rights and civil liberties for 98 years.

Do it. Do it now!

Trump Chumps Screw Themselves

And the rest of America too.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Grab Your Wallet!

This is a great idea that needs to be expanded and acted on. For now, go here...

...and read up on the companies to avoid.

This is infinitely more important and impactful than just calling up a radio or TV station and complaining about hearing Rush or seeing O'Reilly spew their BS. The stations don't really care that you don't like what you are watching or hearing, they only care that you're watching or listening. (Are you listening, Media Matters?)

However, if you call one of their sponsors and let them know that you will not be spending any money at their store because you know that part of your dollar will go to the radio or TV station who will then use that to help pay for Rush, or Hannity, or O'Reilly, or Alex Jones or any of the other right-wing nuts to tell lies about you and your country. And you don't even have to go into any detail. Just let them know that you don't want your money going to those people and so you will not be spending any money with their company. They will be the ones who then call the station to pull back their support if they get enough calls saying they're going to be losing money for sponsoring the wing-nuts.

More details on upcoming posts, but this site is a good place to start.

This is America. You vote with your dollars!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Patriot's Handbook

Daily Drumpf -

For Sunday, pick a book to read from the library or buy one at the store on America by an American.


"A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love" 
by Caroline Kennedy.

From Amazon:
The rich and sometimes discordant strains of American self-scrutiny fill this wide-ranging anthology. Kennedy (The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) arranges the more than 200 selections according to themes like "The Flag," "Freedom of Speech," "Work, Opportunity and Invention" and "The Individual," and devotes equal space to the official, the devotional and the oppositional. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are reprinted in full, along with a large selection of presidential inaugurals and farewells and excerpts from landmark Supreme Court decisions. Popular songs include "Yankee Doodle," "This Land Is Your Land" and "Surfin' USA." Poems and fiction from such luminaries as Whitman, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Stephen Crane, Alice Walker and Annie Proulx explore the variegated textures of American life. The dissident voices of Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass hold America to account for its injustice; H.L. Mencken castigates it as "a commonwealth of third-rate men"; and Oscar Wilde raises a sardonic eyebrow at the whole dubious enterprise. Combining traditional touchstones of Americanism with many insightful surprises, Kennedy's thoughtful arrangement of works of historical significance and literary quality will reward both casual browsers and those conducting a more focused investigation of the nation's patriotic literature.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Obituary for a Republican President

Probably worth saving for some future date. 


Feels appropriate today:
Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism — which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.
We interrupt the daily action item for a bit of history on an earlier Republican president. There is a pattern of malfeasance, duplicity, and as we now know, even outright treason by Republicans in their lust for power. This pattern of un-American and anti-American behavior on the part of Republicans goes back a half-century and is summarized just before the complete HST obit below. 

First, though, a couple of articles on the recent revelations on the treason committed by Republican Richard Nixon. 

This Was Treason. 

Nixon Did It.

Don't sweep it under the rug.


Is it too late to dig up Richard Nixon and set his mouldering corpse on fire on the National Mall, preferably in front of that portion of the Vietnam Memorial in which are carved the names of every American who died there  between the years 1969 and 1972? My buddy Jack Farrell has a new Nixon biography coming out and, over the weekend, in The New York Timeshe provided the final evidence in support of a flaming national catharsis.

A newfound cache of notes left by H. R. Haldeman, his closest aide, shows that Nixon directed his campaign's efforts to scuttle the peace talks, which he feared could give his opponent, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, an edge in the 1968 election. On Oct. 22, 1968, he ordered Haldeman to "monkey wrench" the initiative… Haldeman's notes return us to the dark side. Amid the reappraisals, we must now weigh apparently criminal behavior that, given the human lives at stake and the decade of carnage that followed in Southeast Asia, may be more reprehensible than anything Nixon did in Watergate.

What an evil fck. What an unimaginably evil fck the man was.

"! Keep Anna Chennault working on" South Vietnam, Haldeman scrawled, recording Nixon's orders. "Any other way to monkey wrench it? Anything RN can do." Nixon told Haldeman to have Rose Mary Woods, the candidate's personal secretary, contact another nationalist Chinese figure — the businessman Louis Kung — and have him press Thieu as well. "Tell him hold firm," Nixon said.

Go ahead. Tell me again about the opening to China, and the EPA, and all the rest of it. This is pure treason, worse than anything Aaron Burr ever tried, beyond anything for which Nixon pursued bureaucrats during his Red-hunting days.

In a conversation with the Republican senator Everett Dirksen, the minority leader, Johnson lashed out at Nixon. "I'm reading their hand, Everett," Johnson told his old friend. "This is treason." "I know," Dirksen said mournfully.

If the Vietnamese want to set the pile of decomposing sins on fire in downtown Hanoi, I won't object to that, either.

Nixon’s Vietnam Treachery

Richard M. Nixon always denied it: to David Frost, to historians and to Lyndon B. Johnson, who had the strongest suspicions and the most cause for outrage at his successor’s rumored treachery. To them all, Nixon insisted that he had not sabotaged Johnson’s 1968 peace initiative to bring the war in Vietnam to an early conclusion. “My God. I would never do anything to encourage” South Vietnam “not to come to the table,” Nixon told Johnson, in a conversation captured on the White House taping system.

Now we know Nixon lied. A newfound cache of notes left by H. R. Haldeman, his closest aide, shows that Nixon directed his campaign’s efforts to scuttle the peace talks, which he feared could give his opponent, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, an edge in the 1968 election. On Oct. 22, 1968, he ordered Haldeman to “monkey wrench” the initiative.

The 37th president has been enjoying a bit of a revival recently, as his achievements in foreign policy and the landmark domestic legislation he signed into law draw favorable comparisons to the presidents (and president-elect) that followed. A new, $15 million face-lift at the Nixon presidential library, while not burying the Watergate scandals, spotlights his considerable record of accomplishments.

Haldeman’s notes return us to the dark side. Amid the reappraisals, we must now weigh apparently criminal behavior that, given the human lives at stake and the decade of carnage that followed in Southeast Asia, may be more reprehensible than anything Nixon did in Watergate.

Nixon had entered the fall campaign with a lead over Humphrey, but the gap was closing that October. Henry A. Kissinger, then an outside Republican adviser, had called, alerting Nixon that a deal was in the works: If Johnson would halt all bombing of North Vietnam, the Soviets pledged to have Hanoi engage in constructive talks to end a war that had already claimed 30,000 American lives.

But Nixon had a pipeline to Saigon, where the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, feared that Johnson would sell him out. If Thieu would stall the talks, Nixon could portray Johnson’s actions as a cheap political trick. The conduit was Anna Chennault, a Republican doyenne and Nixon fund-raiser, and a member of the pro-nationalist China lobby, with connections across Asia.

Anna Chennault, 1969.
Ira Gay Sealy/The Denver Post, via Getty Images

“! Keep Anna Chennault working on” South Vietnam, Haldeman scrawled, recording Nixon’s orders. “Any other way to monkey wrench it? Anything RN can do.”

Nixon told Haldeman to have Rose Mary Woods, the candidate’s personal secretary, contact another nationalist Chinese figure — the businessman Louis Kung — and have him press Thieu as well. “Tell him hold firm,” Nixon said.

Nixon also sought help from Chiang Kai-shek, the president of Taiwan. And he ordered Haldeman to have his vice-presidential candidate, Spiro T. Agnew, threaten the C.I.A. director, Richard Helms. Helms’s hopes of keeping his job under Nixon depended on his pliancy, Agnew was to say. “Tell him we want the truth — or he hasn’t got the job,” Nixon said.
Throughout his life, Nixon feared disclosure of this skulduggery. “I did nothing to undercut them,” he told Frost in their 1977 interviews. “As far as Madame Chennault or any number of other people,” he added, “I did not authorize them and I had no knowledge of any contact with the South Vietnamese at that point, urging them not to.” Even after Watergate, he made it a point of character. “I couldn’t have done that in conscience.”

Nixon had cause to lie. His actions appear to violate federal law, which prohibits private citizens from trying to “defeat the measures of the United States.” His lawyers fought throughout Nixon’s life to keep the records of the 1968 campaign private. The broad outline of “the Chennault affair” would dribble out over the years. But the lack of evidence of Nixon’s direct involvement gave pause to historians and afforded his loyalists a defense.

Time has yielded Nixon’s secrets. Haldeman’s notes were opened quietly at the presidential library in 2007, where I came upon them in my research for a biography of the former president. They contain other gems, like Haldeman’s notations of a promise, made by Nixon to Southern Republicans, that he would retreat on civil rights and “lay off pro-Negro crap” if elected president. There are notes from Nixon’s 1962 California gubernatorial campaign, in which he and his aides discuss the need to wiretap political foes.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that, absent Nixon, talks would have proceeded, let alone ended the war. But Johnson and his advisers, at least, believed in their mission and its prospects for success.

When Johnson got word of Nixon’s meddling, he ordered the F.B.I. to track Chennault’s movements. She “contacted Vietnam Ambassador Bui Diem,” one report from the surveillance noted, “and advised him that she had received a message from her boss … to give personally to the ambassador. She said the message was … ‘Hold on. We are gonna win. … Please tell your boss to hold on.’ ”

In a conversation with the Republican senator Everett Dirksen, the minority leader, Johnson lashed out at Nixon. “I’m reading their hand, Everett,” Johnson told his old friend. “This is treason.”

“I know,” Dirksen said mournfully.

Johnson’s closest aides urged him to unmask Nixon’s actions. But on a Nov. 4 conference call, they concluded that they could not go public because, among other factors, they lacked the “absolute proof,” as Defense Secretary Clark Clifford put it, of Nixon’s direct involvement.

Nixon was elected president the next day.

John A. Farrell is the author of the forthcoming “Richard Nixon: The Life.”
A version of this op-ed appears in print on January 1, 2017, on Page SR9 of the New York edition with the headline: Tricky Dick’s Vietnam Treachery. 

That's your Republican Party, ladies and gentlemen! 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Those who fail to learn from history etc., etc. Maybe in ten years, we’ll find out about the Republican's Tehran deal in 1980. Remember Reagan's "October Surprise"?

One of the leading national issues during that year was the release of 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran since November 4, 1979.[1] Reagan won the election. On the day of his inauguration—in fact, 20 minutes after he concluded his inaugural address—the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the release of the hostages. The timing gave rise to an allegation that representatives of Reagan's presidential campaign had conspired with Iran to delay the release until after the election to thwart President Carter from pulling off an "October surprise".
According to the allegation, the Reagan Administration rewarded Iran for its participation in the plot by supplying Iran with weapons via Israel and by unblocking Iranian government monetary assets in US banks.
After twelve years of mixed media attention, both houses of the US Congress held separate inquiries and concluded that the allegations lacked supporting documentation.
Nevertheless, several individuals—most notably former Iranian President Abulhassan Banisadr,[2] former Naval intelligence officer and National Security Council member Gary Sick; and former Reagan/Bush campaign staffer and White House analyst Barbara Honegger — have stood by the allegation.
Gary Sick wrote an editorial[16] for The New York Times and a book (October Surprise)[17] on the subject. Sick's credibility was boosted by the fact that he was a retired Naval Captain, served on Ford's, Carter's, and Reagan's National Security Council, and held high positions with many prominent organizations; moreover, he had authored a book recently on US-Iran relations (All Fall Down). Sick wrote that in October 1980 officials in Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign including future CIA Director, William Casey, made a secret deal with Iran to delay the release of the American hostages until after the election; in return for this, the United States purportedly arranged for Israel to ship weapons to Iran.

As for the "lacked supporting documentation" bit, it puts the felonious actions of 
Republican Oliver North in perspective. 

National Security Council staff member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, begin shredding documents that would have exposed their participation in a range of illegal activities regarding the sale of arms to Iran and the diversion of the proceeds to a rebel Nicaraguan group. On November 25, North was fired but Hall continued to sneak documents to him by stuffing them in her skirt and boots. The Iran-Contra scandal, as it came to be known, became an embarrassment and a sticky legal problem for the Reagan administration

Only six years earlier, Iran had become an enemy of the United States after taking hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. At the time, Ronald Reagan had repeatedly insisted that the United States would never deal with terrorists. When the revelation surfaced that his top officials at the National Security Council had begun selling arms to Iran, it was a public relations disaster. 

Back-to-now (via LG&M):

Not long ago, another magazine asked me to recommend six books that explain something important about American politics. I chose six of my favorites that help elucidate the most important development of the last half-century in American politics: the Republican Party’s embrace of movement conservative ideology. No other major party in the advanced world rejects on principle any proposed tax-revenue increase, or denies the legitimacy of climate science, or opposes universal health care.
And now, the punchline:
I was told my list could not be published because it was too partisan — to be suitable for publication, I would have to swap out some of the books I chose, and substitute some that made the case that the Democratic Party had also gone off the rails, for the sake of balance. I replied that I could not make this change because I don’t believe that the Democratic Party, in its current historical period, has gone off the rails. That doesn’t mean I consider the Democrats flawless, just that they are a normal party with normal problems. It contains a broad range of interest groups and politicians. Sometimes one interest group or another gains too much influence over a particular policy, and sometimes its leading politicians get greedy or make bad political decisions.
The GOP right now is an abnormal party. It does not resemble the major right-of-center parties found in other industrialized democracies. The most glaring manifestation of this is Donald Trump, the flamboyantly ignorant, authoritarian Republican president-elect. But for all his gross unsuitability for public office, Trump also grows out of longstanding trends within his party, which has previously elevated such anti-intellectual figures as George W. Bush and Sarah Palin as plausible leaders of the free world not despite but because of their disdain for empiricism. And it had grown increasingly suspicious of democracy even before a reality television star with a longstanding admiration for strongmen from Russia to Tiananmen Square came upon the scene — which is why the “mainstream” Paul Ryan wing has so willingly suborned Trump’s ongoing violations of governing norms.
It is still fashionable to regard the two parties today as broadly symmetrical to each other — as, indeed, they once were for many decades. But that quaint notion has blinded many of us to the radical turn the Republican Party has taken, and which has brought the American political system to a dangerous point.

Full circle. 


1968 - The Republican presidential candidate, unable to compete legitimately against the Democratic administration in the White House at the time, is rumored to have resorted to anti-American, and un-Constitutional acts by conspiring with a hostile foreign power in an illegal and treasonous power-grab to gain the presidency. 
Result: With Vietnam peace talks having failed (amid rumors that they were sabotaged), Republican Nixon is elected president. Evidence proving the rumors were true are revealed in documents discovered in the Nixon Presidential Museum nearly 50 years later. 

1972 - The Republican president, unable to compete legitimately against the Democratic presidential candidate at the time, is rumored to have resorted to anti-American, and un-Constitutional acts in an illegal power-grab to retain the presidency.
Result: Republican Nixon re-elected president. Watergate break-in and Republican cover-up discovered. With impeachment looming, Republican Nixon resigns the presidency in disgrace. 

1980 - The Republican presidential candidate, unable to compete legitimately against the Democratic administration in the White House at the time, is rumored to have resorted to anti-American, and un-Constitutional acts by conspiring with a hostile foreign power in an illegal and treasonous power-grab to gain the presidency.
Result: With Iran hostage negotiations having failed (amid rumors that they were sabotaged), Republican Reagan is elected president. Six years later, Republican Reagan administration discovered to have violated the Arms Embargo Act by providing military weapons to Iran after taking office. Republican Oliver North and his assistant spend three days shredding incriminating documents related to the Republican Reagan administration's illegal conspiracy with Iran. Four years after Republican Reagan leaves office, a Senate investigation cannot locate enough documentation to support the allegations of sabotaged negotiations with Iran. (Republican Ollie North's unAmerican mission accomplished). 

2000 - The Republican presidential candidate, unable to compete legitimately against the Democratic administration in the White House at the time, is rumored to have resorted to un-American acts by conspiring with Florida Republicans to remove legitimate citizens from the voter roles, allow late and otherwise voided ballots to be counted, and stop the counting of contested votes in an immoral and legally dubious power-grab to gain the presidency. 
Result: In one of the most bizarre acts of any US Supreme Court, the SCOTUS asks for a mulligan and votes 5-4 to stop the counting of votes in Florida and thus hands the presidency to Republican George W. Bush, despite his losing both the popular vote and (as counted by numerous outside 3rd parties) the Florida vote as well. 

2016 - The Republican presidential candidate, unable to compete legitimately against the Democratic administration in the White House at the time, is rumored to have resorted to anti-American, and un-Constitutional acts by conspiring with a hostile foreign power in an illegal and treasonous power-grab to gain the presidency. 
Result: Seventeen different US Security organizations state that Russia hacked the DNC computers, suggesting that Vladimir Putin conspired to assist the Republican candidate who is believed to be in massive debt to the Russian dictator. Republican Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns and other documentation that would show what obligations the Republican has to the Russian. With Russian operatives dumping false stories, misinformation, and fake news into multiple Republican-leaning news organizations and web sites, along with the Republican FBI Director releasing, then retracting, damaging stories about the Democratic candidate just days before the election, the Republican candidate wins more electoral votes despite nearly 3 million more votes being cast for the Democratic candidate. 

And now, the obit:

He Was a Crook
A scathing obituary of Richard Nixon, originally published in Rolling Stone on June 16, 1994

DATE: MAY 1, 1994

"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
---Revelation 18:2

Richard Nixon is gone now, and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing -- a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. Not even Gerald Ford, the unhappy ex-president who pardoned Nixon and kept him out of prison, was immune to the evil fallout. Ford, who believes strongly in Heaven and Hell, has told more than one of his celebrity golf partners that "I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."

I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.
Nixon laughed when I told him this. "Don't worry," he said, "I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you."

It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and now that he's gone, I feel lonely. He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive -- and he was, all the way to the end -- we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.
That was Nixon's style -- and if you forgot, he would kill you as a lesson to the others. Badgers don't fight fair, bubba. That's why God made dachshunds.

Nixon was a navy man, and he should have been buried at sea. Many of his friends were seagoing people: Bebe Rebozo, Robert Vesco, William F. Buckley Jr., and some of them wanted a full naval burial.

These come in at least two styles, however, and Nixon's immediate family strongly opposed both of them. In the traditionalist style, the dead president's body would be wrapped and sewn loosely in canvas sailcloth and dumped off the stern of a frigate at least 100 miles off the coast and at least 1,000 miles south of San Diego, so the corpse could never wash up on American soil in any recognizable form.

The family opted for cremation until they were advised of the potentially onerous implications of a strictly private, unwitnessed burning of the body of the man who was, after all, the President of the United States. Awkward questions might be raised, dark allusions to Hitler and Rasputin. People would be filing lawsuits to get their hands on the dental charts. Long court battles would be inevitable -- some with liberal cranks bitching about corpus delicti and habeas corpus and others with giant insurance companies trying not to pay off on his death benefits. Either way, an orgy of greed and duplicity was sure to follow any public hint that Nixon might have somehow faked his own death or been cryogenically transferred to fascist Chinese interests on the Central Asian Mainland.

It would also play into the hands of those millions of self-stigmatized patriots like me who believe these things already.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern -- but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.

Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard Nixon was an evil man -- evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him -- except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship.

It is fitting that Richard Nixon's final gesture to the American people was a clearly illegal series of 21 105-mm howitzer blasts that shattered the peace of a residential neighborhood and permanently disturbed many children. Neighbors also complained about another unsanctioned burial in the yard at the old Nixon place, which was brazenly illegal. "It makes the whole neighborhood like a graveyard," said one. "And it fucks up my children's sense of values."

Many were incensed about the howitzers -- but they knew there was nothing they could do about it -- not with the current president sitting about 50 yards away and laughing at the roar of the cannons. It was Nixon's last war, and he won.
The funeral was a dreary affair, finely staged for TV and shrewdly dominated by ambitious politicians and revisionist historians. The Rev. Billy Graham, still agile and eloquent at the age of 136, was billed as the main speaker, but he was quickly upstaged by two 1996 GOP presidential candidates: Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas and Gov. Pete Wilson of California, who formally hosted the event and saw his poll numbers crippled when he got blown off the stage by Dole, who somehow seized the No. 3 slot on the roster and uttered such a shameless, self-serving eulogy that even he burst into tears at the end of it.

Dole's stock went up like a rocket and cast him as the early GOP front-runner for '96. Wilson, speaking next, sounded like an Engelbert Humperdinck impersonator and probably won't even be re-elected as governor of California in November.
The historians were strongly represented by the No. 2 speaker, Henry Kissinger, Nixon's secretary of state and himself a zealous revisionist with many axes to grind. He set the tone for the day with a maudlin and spectacularly self-serving portrait of Nixon as even more saintly than his mother and as a president of many godlike accomplishments -- most of them put together in secret by Kissinger, who came to California as part of a huge publicity tour for his new book on diplomacy, genius, Stalin, H. P. Lovecraft and other great minds of our time, including himself and Richard Nixon.

Kissinger was only one of the many historians who suddenly came to see Nixon as more than the sum of his many squalid parts. He seemed to be saying that History will not have to absolve Nixon, because he has already done it himself in a massive act of will and crazed arrogance that already ranks him supreme, along with other Nietzschean supermen like Hitler, Jesus, Bismarck and the Emperor Hirohito. These revisionists have catapulted Nixon to the status of an American Caesar, claiming that when the definitive history of the 20th century is written, no other president will come close to Nixon in stature. "He will dwarf FDR and Truman," according to one scholar from Duke University.

It was all gibberish, of course. Nixon was no more a Saint than he was a Great President. He was more like Sammy Glick than Winston Churchill. He was a cheap crook and a merciless war criminal who bombed more people to death in Laos and Cambodia than the U.S. Army lost in all of World War II, and he denied it to the day of his death. When students at Kent State University, in Ohio, protested the bombing, he connived to have them attacked and slain by troops from the National Guard.

Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism -- which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.

Nixon's meteoric rise from the unemployment line to the vice presidency in six quick years would never have happened if TV had come along 10 years earlier. He got away with his sleazy "my dog Checkers" speech in 1952 because most voters heard it on the radio or read about it in the headlines of their local, Republican newspapers. When Nixon finally had to face the TV cameras for real in the 1960 presidential campaign debates, he got whipped like a red-headed mule. Even die-hard Republican voters were shocked by his cruel and incompetent persona. Interestingly, most people who heard those debates on the radio thought Nixon had won. But the mushrooming TV audience saw him as a truthless used-car salesman, and they voted accordingly. It was the first time in 14 years that Nixon lost an election.

When he arrived in the White House as VP at the age of 40, he was a smart young man on the rise -- a hubris-crazed monster from the bowels of the American dream with a heart full of hate and an overweening lust to be President. He had won every office he'd run for and stomped like a Nazi on all of his enemies and even some of his friends.

Nixon had no friends except George Will and J. Edgar Hoover (and they both deserted him). It was Hoover's shameless death in 1972 that led directly to Nixon's downfall. He felt helpless and alone with Hoover gone. He no longer had access to either the Director or the Director's ghastly bank of Personal Files on almost everybody in Washington.

Hoover was Nixon's right flank, and when he croaked, Nixon knew how Lee felt when Stonewall Jackson got killed at Chancellorsville. It permanently exposed Lee's flank and led to the disaster at Gettysburg.

For Nixon, the loss of Hoover led inevitably to the disaster of Watergate. It meant hiring a New Director -- who turned out to be an unfortunate toady named L. Patrick Gray, who squealed like a pig in hot oil the first time Nixon leaned on him. Gray panicked and fingered White House Counsel John Dean, who refused to take the rap and rolled over, instead, on Nixon, who was trapped like a rat by Dean's relentless, vengeful testimony and went all to pieces right in front of our eyes on TV.

That is Watergate, in a nut, for people with seriously diminished attention spans. The real story is a lot longer and reads like a textbook on human treachery. They were all scum, but only Nixon walked free and lived to clear his name. Or at least that's what Bill Clinton says -- and he is, after all, the President of the United States.

Nixon liked to remind people of that. He believed it, and that was why he went down. He was not only a crook but a fool. Two years after he quit, he told a TV journalist that "if the president does it, it can't be illegal."
Shit. Not even Spiro Agnew was that dumb. He was a flat-out, knee-crawling thug with the morals of a weasel on speed. But he was Nixon's vice president for five years, and he only resigned when he was caught red-handed taking cash bribes across his desk in the White House.

Unlike Nixon, Agnew didn't argue. He quit his job and fled in the night to Baltimore, where he appeared the next morning in U.S. District Court, which allowed him to stay out of prison for bribery and extortion in exchange for a guilty (no contest) plea on income-tax evasion. After that he became a major celebrity and played golf and tried to get a Coors distributorship. He never spoke to Nixon again and was an unwelcome guest at the funeral. They called him Rude, but he went anyway. It was one of those Biological Imperatives, like salmon swimming up waterfalls to spawn before they die. He knew he was scum, but it didn't bother him.

Agnew was the Joey Buttafuoco of the Nixon administration, and Hoover was its Caligula. They were brutal, brain-damaged degenerates worse than any hit man out of The Godfather, yet they were the men Richard Nixon trusted most. Together they defined his Presidency.

It would be easy to forget and forgive Henry Kissinger of his crimes, just as he forgave Nixon. Yes, we could do that -- but it would be wrong. Kissinger is a slippery little devil, a world-class hustler with a thick German accent and a very keen eye for weak spots at the top of the power structure. Nixon was one of those, and Super K exploited him mercilessly, all the way to the end.
Kissinger made the Gang of Four complete: Agnew, Hoover, Kissinger and Nixon. A group photo of these perverts would say all we need to know about the Age of Nixon.

Nixon's spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives -- whether you're me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin's daughter or your fiancee's 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don't even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.

He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.