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June 9, 2002
2:20 AM   Subscribe

The SF Chron's big Sunday story is a very timely and huge package about a Republican Governor who went on to become president cooperating with overzealous intelligence agencies to quash dissent. Revelations: Reagan plotted with the FBI against the President of UC-Berkeley, he wanted to mount "psychological warfare campaign" and the old rumor about Reagan getting some fellow Hollywood artists blacklisted turns out to be true. Synposis.
posted by raaka (36 comments total)

 
Thugh not surpirsed by much of this I note that the CIA--we are always told they are for overseas activities--was in fact used domestically, and now we are being told that we need to coordinate FBI and CIA since they are separate entities doing different things. Seems this not always the case.
posted by Postroad at 3:50 AM on June 9, 2002


It's funny how quaint the fight for civil liberties thirty years ago seem now.

The nostalgia of giving a shit. Somebody roll the camera and wake up Fred Savage.
posted by crasspastor at 4:43 AM on June 9, 2002


My impression on reading the story was that saying Reagan cooperated with overzealous agencies is too passive a description; his behavior was more aggressive than sitting back and answering questions--he used these agencies as a political tool.

I thought the most interesting part of the story was the side-by-side comparison of earlier censored documents from the FBI with the newly released uncensored ones, revealing that their justification that information could not be released "to protect law enforcement operations" was a lie. In light of the fact that these documents are being released after a 17-year fight with the FBI, it's important to consider that it has been today's FBI, not the old currupt Hoover-era agency, fighting against releasing them. From the story: "In court papers, the bureau has maintained that its activities were lawful and intended to protect civil order and national security." If they still consider conducting personal investigations for political gain to be lawful and necessary, today's more powerful FBI is scary indeed.

As disturbing, I feel, is today's poll on the SF Chron site SFGate.com: What relevance do revelations of FBI spying at UC have for today?
- Freedom of speech must be protected (46%)
- No one should have as much power as Hoover (13%)
- Today's FBI also needs leeway to fight enemies (41%)

It's only 270 votes at this point, but that 41% so far seem to consider this type of activity acceptable is further evidence that Bush's fear tactics are working.
posted by troybob at 7:11 AM on June 9, 2002


So I wonder what the records will show thirty years from now about the Bush Ashcroft era.
posted by onegoodmove at 12:40 PM on June 9, 2002


whatever the ministry of truth prints, citizen ;)
posted by rhyax at 2:08 PM on June 9, 2002


So I wonder what the records will show thirty years from now about the Bush Ashcroft era.

Or the Clinton/Gore era, for that matter.
posted by ljromanoff at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2002


Let's assume your premise that Clinton was a secret Hitler of a president, and that for 8 year the white house had a train of crack whores arriving daily to satisfy his carnal lusts, or that he personally was running gas chambers to exterminate his political enemies. Now let's assume that Bush is doing stuff that would make Nixon blush, but not quite as bad as Clinton. What's your point, lj? That everything Bush might be doing, no matter how illegal or in violation of every supposed standard of democracy, is ok provided you can allege- falsely or otherwise- that Clinton might have done something worse?

Does that work in criminal proceedings? "Sure, judge, I kidnapped those 10 women, raped and killed them, then sliced off their skin and sewed it into clothing. But I'm not quite as prolific as Gacy or Bundy- you gotta let me go free, judge- I'm a small fry!"

Look, let me remind you: Clinton has not been president for 17 months. Maybe he was as awful as you and your psychotic freeper friends believe- but that is mostly irrelevent in whether or not Reagan did the things mentioned- something which is the topic of this thread, and something you neglected to address. If this were a thread about "who was the worst president" then maybe your comment wouldn't just be complete shit.
posted by hincandenza at 5:26 PM on June 9, 2002


Clinton has not been president for 17 months. Maybe he was as awful as you and your psychotic freeper friends believe

Ah, yes. Let's smear anyone with whom we disagree with the word "freeper" regardless of whether or not they have ever visited freerepublic.com in their entire life.

but that is mostly irrelevent in whether or not Reagan did the things mentioned

Guess what genius: what Bush and Ashcroft may or may not be doing is also irrelevant in whether or not Reagan did the things mentioned.
posted by ljromanoff at 7:18 PM on June 9, 2002


So I wonder what the records will show thirty years from now about the Bush Ashcroft era.

The networks of smoking craters, the mass graves and the piles of human skulls will be testament enough, I should think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:29 PM on June 9, 2002


Oh no!!!!

Raygun was not the nearly-God?!?!

He really was the drugstore truck driving man mentioned in the now famous Woodstock song by Country Joe & The Fish?

Who shall Young Republicans kneel and worship now?

Will Rush have to remove the halo off his Raygun portrait?

Is he not savior of the "free" world much like Superman?

I'm just so disconcerted by this revelation!! Make it stop!!!
posted by nofundy at 6:03 AM on June 10, 2002


I'll still respect Reagan. I wouldn't trust the writers to cast a true light upon anything Reagan did- and, in any event, there were actually people back in that age that needed blacklisting. There was an actual, evil empire plotting to cause us damage... and the measures taken to fight it (1) were wise and (2) paid great dividends.

Why should any of this upset me? Reagan was good for this country, and strengthened it. Clinton was terrible for this country, and greatly weakened it. It boils down to that. Clinton was and is a traitor, and Reagan was the exact opposite.
posted by dissent at 7:29 AM on June 10, 2002


You know, sometimes I think I'm the only person in the whole fucking world that remembers that Reagan campaigned for his first term on a promise of balancing the federal budget in three years.

Instead we got record deficit spending and spiraling debt.

Who balanced the budget? Clinton.

Eat it.
posted by NortonDC at 8:40 AM on June 10, 2002


Who balanced the budget? Clinton.

Eat it.


Yeah, I guess that Republican Congress for the first time in 50 years and a 11 year Internet-fueled economic recovery had nothing to do with it, it was just Clinton out there all by himself workin' the books.

Sheesh.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:43 AM on June 10, 2002


Damn that Bill Clinton! Damn him for strengthening our economy! Damn him for balancing the budget! Damn him for being able to string a sentence together!

If it wasn't for God-fearing Republicans, who would support the super-rich? Who?
posted by owillis at 8:44 AM on June 10, 2002


Damn that Bill Clinton! Damn him for strengthening our economy!

The economy was out of recession during the last two quarters of G.H.W. Bush's term, before Clinton was even elected, let alone took office. So unless Clinton has some sort of magic economic powers that he threw into action while campaigning, the credit for the economy's going to have to go elsewhere.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:47 AM on June 10, 2002


Interesting also that the article you cite supporting Clinton never mentions either him or any of his policies.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2002


Yeah, he was only the President is all. I forgot, all things evil are done by Democrats while Republicans are do-gooders. Because Democrats are tax-n-spend (even though they balanced the budget) and Republicans are fiscally prudent (as they create yet another federal agency). Silly me.

Terrah! Terr-ah! All is fine.
posted by owillis at 8:57 AM on June 10, 2002


How the %#%! did the democrites balance the budget?
Republican House and Senate in that time, THANK YOU very much!

When Clinton had a democratic house, what, exactly was balanced? Nothing. Eat THAT.
posted by dissent at 9:02 AM on June 10, 2002


Yeah, he was only the President is all.

Yes, he was president. He wasn't the all powerful overlord that controlled all aspects of the government and economy. If he had been, maybe he'd deserve some credit.

Democrats are tax-n-spend (even though they balanced the budget

Except, of course, they weren't the ones who balanced the budget.
posted by ljromanoff at 9:10 AM on June 10, 2002


Oh wait, it gets better: historically the nation's economy (GDP delta) performs better under Democratic presidential administrations Republican presidential administrations.

Thank God we have Democratic presidents to save the economy from the Republicans.
posted by NortonDC at 10:40 AM on June 10, 2002


Oh wait, it gets better: historically the nation's economy (GDP delta) performs better under Democratic presidential administrations Republican presidential administrations.

Historically we also get into more World Wars during Democratic presidential administrations as well.

Unless you actually have some evidence that Democratic policies are better for the economy (which is quite impossible as different Democratic presidential administrations had essentially opposite views on taxation and growth - Clinton vs. JFK, for example) you're just talking out of your ass.
posted by ljromanoff at 10:47 AM on June 10, 2002


Historically we also get into more World Wars during Democratic presidential administrations as well.

And historically we get into more civil wars during Republican presidential administrations.

Unless you actually have some evidence that Democratic policies are better for the economy (which is quite impossible as different Democratic presidential administrations had essentially opposite views on taxation and growth - Clinton vs. JFK, for example) you're just talking out of your ass.

Really? So you're asserting that my statement about GDP is wrong?
posted by NortonDC at 11:55 AM on June 10, 2002


He's asserting that comparing economic conditions across all terms of democratic or republican presidents is a flawed idea, for the economic policies of say, JFK, bear little resemblance to those of Clinton, as those of Reagan bear almost no resemblance to those of Nixon.

And I have to agree.

I'd take JFK's ideas over Nixon's, any day.

But I'd never take those of Clinton or his minders. Period.
posted by dissent at 12:01 PM on June 10, 2002


And historically we get into more civil wars during Republican presidential administrations.

And we've had more successful moon landings during Republican administrations. And the Yankees win the World Series more under Democratic administrations. Etc. etc. etc.

Really? So you're asserting that my statement about GDP is wrong?

I don't know if it's right or wrong. But assuming it's accurate, it means nothing because there is no single "Democratic economic policy" that has governed Democrat presidents over the past 150 years (and the same is true of Republicans.) Therefore, suggesting that the economy "performs better" when Democrats are in the White House is dubious indeed.
posted by ljromanoff at 12:14 PM on June 10, 2002


Therefore, suggesting that the economy "performs better" when Democrats are in the White House is dubious indeed.

It is accurate, when quoted accurately, including "historically." Your inability to fathom a fact doesn't invalidate it.
posted by NortonDC at 1:04 PM on June 10, 2002


NortonDC, Democrats in the White House do not necessarily cause a booming economy. Nor does a booming economy cause Democrats to be elected to the White House. Correlation does not prove causation. Economics 101. Surely you knew that, though, and your incessant arguing is caused by a blindness to reality.

Terrah! Terr-ah! All is fine.

Your motto is tired, owillis. So is your argument that moderates know any better than partisans. It's just another placeholder on the spectrum of politics.

And in case ljromanoff didn't knock this into your heads, Clinton did not cause a booming economy. No sitting president can cause an economy to boom or bust. Only those who actually create wealth can dictate the direction. Indeed, the internet boom had much to do with it. But Clinton was riding atop a 30-year boom, and because the public tend to look at the President as a barometer for the country, as the economy grew, so did Clinton's popularity. Bush was elected when the economy was contracting, as part of a reality check. Did he cause the contraction? Hell no. Did he get blamed? Of course.

The fact that you even try to establish causation like that is pitiful. You're either trying to sway voters, or are completely ignorant to the way of economics. I'll let you decide.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:39 PM on June 10, 2002


Therefore, suggesting that the economy "performs better" when Democrats are in the White House is dubious indeed.

It is accurate, when quoted accurately, including "historically." Your inability to fathom a fact doesn't invalidate it.


If it is a fact, it is a meaningless fact. You might as well say that Democrats helped the Beatles have number one hits, as that happened more under Democratic administrations as well.

Again, the suggestion that because the economy may have been better in total under all Democratic administrations in total means that Democrats in office improves the economy is completely fallacious.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:52 PM on June 10, 2002


The fact that you even try to establish causation like that is pitiful.

Is that aimed at me? If so, it's a lie. I didn't speak to causation of economic performance. Read it again. Slowly.

I said Clinton balanced the budget and Reagan laid a 16-ton weight on the expense side of the teeter-totter after being elected on a promise of balancing the budget.

And, yes, the president does have the final say on the budget.
posted by NortonDC at 2:00 PM on June 10, 2002


But Clinton did not balance that budget until he was forced to do so... and he didn't have the burden of having to fight a cold war. Reagan had excellent reasons for deficit spending- Clinton had none, and yet would not have balanced the budget had he not been kicked in the ass by a Republican House and Republican Senate.

That 16-ton weight served us well for many years afterward, BTW. One of the reasons our military was not in utter shambles after the Clinton administration...
posted by dissent at 2:09 PM on June 10, 2002


I said Clinton balanced the budget and Reagan laid a 16-ton weight on the expense side of the teeter-totter after being elected on a promise of balancing the budget.

And by solely crediting and/or blaming the president for the budget you are in error.
posted by ljromanoff at 2:09 PM on June 10, 2002


Clinton balanced the budget because the US government's income slowly rose. The income rose because of a rise in taxable income. The taxable income came from the boom in the economy. Clinton DID NOT cause a rise in income. He was simply able to use the goldmine that was handed to him by the American people, who EARNED that taxable income.

Is that aimed at me? If so, it's a lie. I didn't speak to causation of economic performance. Read it again. Slowly.

You said:

Oh wait, it gets better: historically the nation's economy (GDP delta) performs better under Democratic presidential administrations Republican presidential administrations.

So why would you mention this? Who gives a shit when the economy (GDP) does better if you aren't trying to prove causation?
posted by BlueTrain at 2:09 PM on June 10, 2002


The 90s recession?
Pay no attention to the George and Ronnie show, lets put that at the feet of the Democrats in congres...

The 90s boom?
That was starting when Bush I was on his way out - so Clinton gets no credit.

The 2000 contraction?
Obviously Clinton's fault, never mind that Bush's tax cut accelerated it. Just blame it on the war on terrah - never mind that 9.11's impact on the economy in general has been minimal.

Somehow all the good things are Republican, and the bad Democrat. Silly me. And BlueTrain, I think a lot of your arguments are tired too.
posted by owillis at 2:17 PM on June 10, 2002


Somehow all the good things are Republican, and the bad Democrat.

In your mind. Republicans and Democrats can claim all of the victories that they want; the truth behind the economic boom/bust is still there. I see you've been swallowing all of the spin instead of arguing above it. Seems to me that you're just as ignorant as the American people for accepting and/or arguing blame.

And BlueTrain, I think a lot of your arguments are tired too.

I call them when I see them. I can't say the same for you.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:28 PM on June 10, 2002


Somehow all the good things are Republican, and the bad Democrat.

No. I have no quarrel with JFK, for instance.

Let's clarify. Not all bad things are democrat. Conservative democrats, when not part of the southern hick mafia, say, like Lyndon B. Johnson, are just fine. The problem is, there are few conservative democrats left at this point.

Democrat, republican, republican, democrat... matters not. What matters is avoiding a slide further into socialist practice than we've already gone. My criticism is levied pretty much squarely at Clinton because I specifically think he wanted to further the cause of socialism, and weaken our military as well. It's not that he was a democrat. It's that he was a liberal. No, strike that, a socialist in liberal's garb.

Blue dog democrats? Fine with me. I'll vote for them against a fair many republicans.

No all bad things are democrat... but they have few among them capable of producing *good* things at the moment. The Republicans are merely the lesser of two evils- and occassionally produce an actual good, such as Ronald Reagan.
posted by dissent at 2:32 PM on June 10, 2002


What an embrassing thread.
posted by raaka at 10:08 PM on June 10, 2002


What an embrassing thread.

Well, that's politics for you.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:09 AM on June 11, 2002


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