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]
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]
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"
The New York Times examines
how American taxes have changed since 1980
"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.
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
"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
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).
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.
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]
(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".
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]
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
The acclaimed Los Angeles Times political cartoonist Paul Conrad
is dead. [more inside]
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]
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.
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.
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
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]
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]
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]
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."
from and pictures
of Ronald Reagan's diaries while president, with a brief intro from historian Douglas Brinkley.
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
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
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
A poll that the GOP is actually winning
Reagan?! What is happening to The Atlantic?
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
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?
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!
Bush in the Bubble. Newsweek's
analysis of the man who is possibly "the most isolated president in modern history."
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
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
A Brief History of Slime
, or How The Current Wave Of Global Islamic Terrorism Was Precipitated By A B-Movie Actor.
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..."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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