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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans - "Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 5, 2014 - 80 comments

"Free markets killed capitalism," Or really, the other way around.

Monopoly is back: Barry Lynn on the concentration of American economic power — and how we can restore fairness. Highlights: [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jun 30, 2014 - 47 comments

The Rise, fall, and legacy of the Office of Technology Assessment

On October 13, 1972, the Technology Assessment Act was put into law as a bipartisan effort to promote scientific understanding for Congress members. The act created the nonpartisan Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), which released over 750 studies in its 24 years of operation. The OTA was defunded in 1995, part of Newt Gingrich's efforts to "dismantle Congressional institutions that employed people with the knowledge, training and experience to know a harebrained idea when they saw it." (Bruce Bartlett, NYT Economix blog). It was seen by some as "Reagan's Revenge" (Google books preview) for OTA's critical reports (Gbp) in 1985 (PDF) and 1988 (PDF) of the potential for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, aka "Star Wars"). Chris Mooney looked back on OTA in Requiem for an office (PDF), and both the Federation of American Scientists and Princeton University have OTA report archives online. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 13, 2014 - 26 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

The Rise of the New New Left

Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 12, 2013 - 144 comments

The Reagans Speak Out on Drugs, 25 years later

25 years ago, the Reagans spoke out on drugs, and they were, rather surprisingly, in support of a variety of substances. This wasn't a new video showing a sudden change of heart, but the work of two years, editing a longer speech to the nation that was originally broadcast in 1986. The new video couldn't be seen on TV, but was shared, traded, and bootlegged on VHS tapes. The case was originally labeled "A uniquely edited version of a real televised address to the American people," noting that it was made by Cliff Roth, an audio/visual geek and teacher who had access to a high quality film reel and audio source, plus the time and resources to make a piece of "editing art".
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 5, 2013 - 25 comments

Before Penn and Teller

Comedy juggling by Michael Davis
posted by freshwater on Feb 5, 2013 - 14 comments

The New York Times - Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980

The New York Times examines how American taxes have changed since 1980
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2012 - 105 comments

Buying useful things, like roads and universities and health care and solar energy and spaceships, should be better stimulus than fighting wars.

"Liberals have not always been very good at communicating why liberalism works. There’s many reasons for this, but part of it is that it can be hard to defend the obvious from an absurd and deceptive attack. For half a century you had to be a crank to oppose what Roosevelt accomplished; liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs. I hope this page will help. Liberals don’t need to apologize for their vision of how American society should work. Liberalism saved American capitalism and democracy, defeated Naziism, created a prosperous middle class, and benefited every sector of society, from the back streets to Wall Street. " Mefi's own Zompist (previously) on Why Liberalism Works.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 30, 2012 - 109 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

nonsense economics

"I call it the destruction of shared prosperity hypothesis. ... [A]round 1980 the U.S. adopted a fundamentally flawed economic paradigm ... that abandoned full employment and severed the link between wages and productivity growth. ... Financial deregulation, regulatory forbearance, financial innovation, financial mania, and plain vanilla financial fraud kept the economy going by making ever more credit available, However, as the economy cannibalized itself by undercutting income distribution and accumulating debt, it needed ever larger speculative bubbles to grow. The house price bubble was simply the last and biggest bubble and was effectively the only way around the stagnation that would otherwise have developed in 2001." - an interview with Thomas Palley on the origins and prognosis for the crisis
posted by crayz on Apr 18, 2012 - 31 comments

The Only Winning Move is to Watch This

Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War. Then, they made a documentary. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD, the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels. You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945).
posted by symbioid on Mar 27, 2012 - 78 comments

The devil got to him.

A year after Jared Loughner's shooting of 20 people, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, The Exiled Online has published transcripts of an interview with some of his closest friends. Their story was recorded the week of the shootings and describes the enviornment that nurtured Loughner's mania.

This piece is a part of a category of eXiled reporting based on Mark Ames's Going Postal premise: Reaganomics begat a new era of desparation, and people with mental instabilities have been the first to attempt thier own abortive rebellions. The idea was explored by a 2009 BBC documentary of the same name.
posted by clarknova on Jan 12, 2012 - 32 comments

Iran-Contra 25 years on

Peter Kornbluh, of the National Security Archive, has written an article about Iran-Contra coinciding with the release of the Reagan/Bush 'criminal liability' evaluations(contains video of Reagan's testimony). Confused about what exactly the Iran-Contra affair was? Here you go. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Nov 28, 2011 - 43 comments

"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

How Obama can get re-elected: Act like Reagan from the Globe and Mail. [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on Aug 10, 2011 - 163 comments

Robert Altman's "H.E.A.L.T.H."

HealtH (1980) [part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] was the film which ended Robert Altman’s relationship with Twentieth Century Fox, the studio for whom he had made M*A*S*H. ... During the editing of the film Altman’s main supporter, Alan Ladd Jr., left the studio and release was shelved. Altman distributed the film himself to the festival circuit. ... But it has never been released on VHS, DVD or BluRay and thus remains one of the least seen of Altman’s ouvre. This is unfortunate as it is a very entertaining film, even if it falls short of its ambitions as a political satire. Ronald Reagan disagreed - calling it "the world's worst movie".
posted by Trurl on Jul 8, 2011 - 18 comments

“No one is more important to the future of our state than our teachers.”

New, From Mike Huckabee! Give Your Kids An Exciting Way To Learn The Facts About American History! This fascinating, original series of animated videos features the Time Travel Academy kids, a group of friends who create an incredible time machine that whisks them back in time to experience history in the making! Many of our schools and teachers today haven't found ways to make history for kids fun. Instead, they’re teaching with political bias that distorts facts for the sake of political correctness. As a result, our national pride and patriotism are in jeopardy. - Mike Huckabee, Co-founder Sample video: Learn Our History: the Reagan Revolution [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on May 12, 2011 - 113 comments

Reagan's Propaganda Campaign Against Libya

In the 80s, US intelligence services were claiming to have uncovered a host of un-American plots concocted by Gaddafi such as sending hit squads to kill Reagan and other members of the administration, launching terrorist targets in Europe and elsewhere , a plan to kidnap or execute the American ambassador to Italy, and a suicide mission against the USS Nimitz.

Then in 1986, Bernard Kalb stepped down as spokesman for the State Department after hearing of government plans to plant false stories about Gaddafi.
posted by destro on Mar 19, 2011 - 57 comments

"Slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Challenger . . . . go with throttle up. Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf) tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember one of the most tragic days in the history of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
posted by IvoShandor on Jan 28, 2011 - 100 comments

"Getting up mad and staying mad all day certainly describes Paul Conrad"

The acclaimed Los Angeles Times political cartoonist Paul Conrad is dead. [more inside]
posted by blucevalo on Sep 4, 2010 - 14 comments

FDR: "People who are hungry, people who are out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."

The United States was engaged in the largest two-front war of its, or any nation's history. Though victory was not yet certain, there were discussions on a multi-national level regarding the future peace, and on the President of the United States was looking to the post-war prospects for the nation. With that in mind, the annual address of the President to Congress and the nation was summed up in one word: Security. "And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security -- in a family of nations." This was Franklin D. Roosevelt's third-to-last Fireside Chat, presented on Tuesday, January 11, 1944, which included what he proposed to be the Second Bill of Rights. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 16, 2010 - 67 comments

Vietnam, huh? Grenada man. Grenada?

The Invasion of Grenada (also known as Operation Urgent Fury) took place on October 25, 1983. Despite its reputation for only being "like 12 hours long," it played an important part in the history of the Cold War, the Reagan Administration, and U.S. military policy. Some have compared the way it was handled to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
posted by Man Bites Dog on Jul 13, 2010 - 35 comments

What's good for America is bad for GM.

How The U.S. Government Built, Then Killed The Safest Car Ever Built. Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. government built a fleet of cars that were safer than anything on the road. Twenty-five years ago, the government shredded them in secret.
posted by rodgerd on May 28, 2010 - 95 comments

"A vicious little pup like you"

When "The Dark, Dark Hours" episode of General Electric Theater aired live from Hollywood on December 12, 1954, Ronald Reagan and James Dean were just two actors yet to find the roles that would define them.The Atlantic has a six-minute video clip and some background.
posted by The Mouthchew on Apr 27, 2010 - 6 comments

...of fashion

El fin del mundo
posted by DU on Mar 10, 2010 - 42 comments

“A cobra among garter snakes”

He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard Nixon
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2010 - 40 comments

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine. [more inside]
posted by Astro Zombie on Aug 18, 2009 - 56 comments

1983: The Brink of Apocalypse

1983: The Brink of Apocalypse -- In 1983 the NATO war exercise Able Archer almost started a nuclear war. Unknown to NATO, just a few months earlier a false alarm had already put the Soviet leadership on edge, and the exercise triggered preparations for a counter attack in the Soviet military. Only a few double agents on each side may have saved the world from nuclear armageddon. [more inside]
posted by empath on Jul 10, 2009 - 32 comments

Is this 18.5 minutes of tape anything important?

It's been a busy week for presidential libraries. The Nixon Library released 200 hours of tape (excerpts) and 90,000 pages of documents (excerpts) that detail his obsessive attempts to destroy his political enemies. The LBJ library released MP3s of dozens of phone calls, including one where he accuses Nixon of treason for stalling Vietnamese peace talks in advance of the 1968 election. Finally, the Reagan Library released 750,000 pages of documents (NYT, reg. req.) to researchers. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 7, 2008 - 20 comments

Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography

Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography From the writers of Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography. [via]
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth on Sep 8, 2007 - 23 comments

TSA busts myths, too!

Last week, a woman at DC's Reagan Airport was detained because of water in her son's sippy cup. In an unusual step, the TSA has posted their own Mythbusters site where they show the security footage and the official incident report. Here is BoingBoing's take on the video. And a security/security technology blogger posts about the larger lesson that people readily side against the TSA "because there's no accountability or transparency in the DHS."
posted by spec80 on Jun 18, 2007 - 253 comments

Excerpts from Reagan's diaries

Excerpts from and pictures of Ronald Reagan's diaries while president, with a brief intro from historian Douglas Brinkley.
posted by ibmcginty on May 24, 2007 - 15 comments

Stockman indicted

Stockman agreed that supply-side theory was, in Greider's words, "only new language and argument to conceal a hoary old Republican doctrine: give the tax cuts to the top brackets, the wealthiest individuals and largest enterprises, and let the good effects 'trickle down' through the economy to reach everyone else." Said Stockman: "It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,' so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down' .. . Kemp-Roth [the supply-side tax bill] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate."
Reagon's Budget Director, David Stockman "was indicted for defrauding investors and banks of $1.6 billion while chairman of Collins & Aikman Corp., an auto-parts maker that collapsed days after he quit." via
posted by afu on Mar 30, 2007 - 14 comments

Tim O'Brien: Every Time You...ah, forget it.

Tim O’Brien – the painter and illustrator, not the writer – is so good with Photoshop (not to mention paintbrushes) that he can make Ronald Reagan cry.
posted by gottabefunky on Mar 16, 2007 - 40 comments

Russian Bear Cartoons

There is a bear in the woods. Some people say he is adorabley blotto. Some people say he is a ponderous Pooh. Still others say he is as cute as a bug's bottom. Since nobody really knows for sure, isn't smart to be smarter than the average bear? If there is a bear? YouTubery Ahoy
posted by maryh on Mar 10, 2007 - 17 comments

Reagan tops Lincoln

A poll that the GOP is actually winning Reagan?! What is happening to The Atlantic?
posted by papoon on Nov 9, 2006 - 85 comments

The Hiding of the President

Keep Bush away from the press. Joe Scarborough (in the news lately for asking rude questions about the President's intelligence) opines that "If George Bush has lost his ability to give a commanding presser, then stage manage him differently. Play to his strengths... Show him only in settings where he is in control." Curiously, while Bush's press conferences have become unsetllingly less coherent in recent days -- even for him -- the so-called liberal media and even the blogosphere have barely mentioned it (perhaps in the spirit of preserving the dignity of the office, like FDR's wheelchair?) Example: watch this video -- what happens at 1:34 or so, right before the President abruptly terminates the questioning? Will Bush in his twilight years, as Foxborough advises, become like Ronald Reagan, protected from public humiliation by his faithful staff?
posted by digaman on Aug 22, 2006 - 156 comments

World Leader Family Photo Album

World Leaders Were Kids Once Too
Photos of a whole bunch of world leaders as kids up through adulthood. Hey, Reagan was Teh Buff! And proof that Joe Stalin was NOT born with that mustache!
posted by fenriq on Jul 22, 2006 - 83 comments

Insulation in High Places

Bush in the Bubble. Newsweek's analysis of the man who is possibly "the most isolated president in modern history."
posted by digaman on Dec 13, 2005 - 47 comments

you look so tired unhappy

Bring down the government! Flickr collection of scans from a CIA published guide for revolutionaries in Nicaragua; many of the suggestions are universally applicable. I myself have been guilty of at least one...
posted by jonson on Dec 3, 2005 - 19 comments

Everyone’s favorite conservative talk show host does battle with a 3-headed liberal monster!

A must for Rush fans everywhere, and those who enjoyed Reagan's Raiders and Liberality.
posted by you just lost the game on Dec 1, 2005 - 39 comments

Why are we not talking more about Haiti?

Why are we not talking about Haiti? "No one has asked questions about the wildly partisan officials in U.S. State Department now running U.S. policy in the Caribbean and Latin America. These include such Blast-from-the-Past supporters of Reagan era highjinks in Central America as Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Elliot Abrams, and (before his ignominious departure last summer) John Poindexter."
posted by j-urb on Aug 10, 2005 - 13 comments

dangerous radicals

A Brief History of Slime, or How The Current Wave Of Global Islamic Terrorism Was Precipitated By A B-Movie Actor.
posted by 31d1 on Aug 3, 2005 - 56 comments

Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories..."I know it’s a fallacy * That grown men never cry Baby, that’s a lie * We had our bed of roses But forgot that roses die * And thank you so much..."
posted by growabrain on Jan 28, 2005 - 10 comments

Reagan should be on a $3 bill

Reagan should be on a $3 bill "For the funeral of Ronald Reagan, they took the body from Beverly Hills to Simi Valley, the white Los Angeles suburb, where it stayed for a day and a half or so then they drove it in one of these two hearses to the airport and flew it to Washington and then they had a march and afterwards put the casket into the Capitol for crowds to pass by and now there was to be another march and a religous service and then a drive to the airport, where the casket will be shuttled back to the airport south of Los Angeles and in a hearse to the final ceremony at his library on Friday. That is quite a funeral. They buried George Washingon in half the time. You keep thinking of Harry Truman, whose code was, "Do not impose." He left an order that there were to be no eulogies at his funeral."
posted by Postroad on Jun 11, 2004 - 104 comments

Vote for Braaaaaaiiiiinsssss!

Bush has a new running mate: Zombie Reagan. From the FAQ: What are some other advanatages of adding Zombie Reagan to the ticket? He will demonstrate America's resolve to continue the battle against terrorism. Instead of retreating to an undisclosed location, for instance, Zombie Reagan will be on the front lines, eating illegal combatants.
posted by mathowie on Jun 9, 2004 - 42 comments

Margaret Thatcher writes about Reagan

Flashback: Margaret Thatcher writes about Ronald Reagan. President Reagan saw instinctively that pessimism itself was the disease and that the cure for pessimism is optimism. He set about restoring faith in the prospects of the American dream — a dream of boundless opportunity built on enterprise, individual effort, and personal generosity. He infused his own belief in America's economic future in the American people. That was farsighted. It carried America through the difficult early days of the 1981-82 recession, because people are prepared to put up with sacrifices if they know that those sacrifices are the foundations of future prosperity.
posted by David Dark on Jun 7, 2004 - 56 comments

Juan Cole remembers Reagan.

Juan Cole remembers Reagan. Cole: I did not say anything yesterday about Ronald Reagan's death. The day a person dies he has a right to be left alone. But yesterday is now history, and Reagan's legacy should not pass without comment.
posted by skallas on Jun 7, 2004 - 25 comments

R.I.P. R.W.R.

Breaking History: Ronald Reagan dead at 93.
Will today be marked as the culmination of his achievements or the "end of the Reagan Era"?
MeFites are advised to please avoid piling onto the subject or the messenger
posted by wendell on Jun 5, 2004 - 415 comments

Rich on Reagan

Terrific Frank Rich piece (NYT link) on Angels, Reagan, and AIDS in America.
posted by adrober on Nov 16, 2003 - 35 comments

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