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Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Reagan’

First Posted: 02/ 9/2012 12:02 pm Updated: 02/ 9/2012  1:16 pm

Huff Post

By – Howard Fineman

WASHINGTON — Conservatives begin their annual jamboree here Thursday certain of two things, although they don’t say them out loud. They need another Ronald Reagan. They don’t have another Ronald Reagan.

Invoking the Gipper is almost a religious requirement on the Republican campaign trail this year, but none of the presidential candidates is convincingly channeling the true Reagan spirit: He spent a lifetime thinking through the conservative movement and turning it into a salable set of ideas.

Rather than serving as a unifying moment, the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference, now in its 39th year, has become a symbol of a sprawling, ultimately incoherent movement that has yet to develop a new synthesis for a new century.

“The one thing that unites everybody is a hatred of Barack Obama,” said Craig Shirley, a CPAC veteran and one of Reagan’s newest and best biographers. “But hatred of the president is not a governing philosophy.”

The 2012 GOP race is divided into the shards of the old alliance, with Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each appealing to different pieces of the now-shattered right and Mitt Romney acting the colorless “establishment” leader in a party without them. It feels more like the end of an era than the beginning of one, even though, paradoxically, this year’s CPAC may well set a record for attendance and revenue.

Once CPAC was a launching pad for presidents, especially Reagan. This week, the Woodstock of the Right looks more like a trade show for new products. Somewhere in the crowded corridors and meeting rooms, there may be a new generation in the making. But you’re unlikely to hear it in speeches from the presidential candidates.

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Bill Moyers Journal March 27, 2009

BILL MOYERS: As you know, earlier this week Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner proposed a vast expansion of government authority that would crack down hard on Wall Street’s reckless behavior.

Just in time, it seems. You could almost hear the mob in the streets of Washington as he spoke. Popular anger was beginning to evoke unhappy images among Washington elites of the French Revolution, guillotine and all.

On the Op-Ed page of Sunday’s “Washington Post” William Greider, the veteran political reporter of four decades, suggested a glass half full. He wrote that the public’s rage “has great potential for restoring a functioning democracy. Timely intervention by the people could save the country from some truly bad ideas now circulating in Washington and on Wall Street.”

Perhaps no journalist better understands the intertwining twists and turns of government and money, the collision of capitalism and democracy, than William Greider. He wrote the definitive account of the Federal Reserve system, SECRETS OF THE TEMPLE. In the spirit of Thomas Paine he produced, WHO WILL TELL THE PEOPLE? Followed it with, THE SOUL OF CAPITALISM. And now, COME HOME, AMERICA: THE RISE AND FALL (AND REDEEMING PROMISE) OF OUR COUNTRY.

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Wall Street Trades in Political Currency

WILLIAM GREIDER: Unfortunately, Secretary Geithner, has a record- which we know about. When he was President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. And he was at the table, in many of the bailout transactions. First Bear Stearns then A.I.G. and others. And this is, again, not my opinion, but people on Wall Street talk about it all the time. He got spun around again and again by the big Wall Street players. The bailout of Bear Stearns was really about protecting J.P. Morgan Chase.

The story was told backwards in the press, basically, because it’s a story the government told that J.P. Morgan came in to buy Bear Stearns at the behest of the government. But in fact, if Bear Stearns had gone down, J.P. Morgan Chase was vulnerable itself to a wave of derivative crashing crisis. When they bailed out A.I.G., the chief executive of Goldman Sachs was in the room. Why was he in the room? Well, because he had big exposure to- through derivatives, to A.I.G. So, when they pump money into A.I.G., it sends the same dollars out and buys back these derivative contracts at par value, not even discounted, to the banks and others who hold them. Goldman Sachs gets $12 billion out of that transaction. This is another scandal waiting to surface. And I trust good, smart reporters are already on the case. And following the dollars that moved around among the leading financial institutions in ways that politicians could not have not known about it. It defies reason to think that Washington didn’t know this was happening.

BILL MOYERS: “The New York Times” on Thursday had this remarkable full page graph, based upon the excellent work of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group you’re familiar with-

WILLIAM GREIDER: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: That monitors money and politics. They said, where Wall Street trades in political currency, and if you look at this you realize that political connections may be the new currency for deal makers. Right? And it shows which of the financial elites have contributed to which elite politicians.

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Flashback to 1981, Ronny Raygun, and Trickle Down Economics

William Geider

The Education of David Stockman
About a similar situation during the Ronny Raygun administration where Stockman, as his finacial advisor, was spinning the numbers to boost the economy

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        Gingrich virtually a candidate with new 2012 website

POLITICO

The just-launched website for Newt Gingrich’s presidential water testing is as thin as his minutes-long announcement at the Georgia state Capitol.

Paid for by Newt Exploratory 2012, the site offers little of the substance that Gingrich is known for – missing are the videos, statements, policy positions, and other information that usually fill a potential candidate’s web space.

Unveiled minutes after he finished speaking on Thursday, NewtExplore2012.com pictures a large photo of the former House Speaker and his wife, Callista, on the homepage.

Think Progress, a website from the Center for American Progress, reported that the stock photos of supporters Gingrich uses include a photo that was also used on the website of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Gingrich’s wife receives prominent display on the site just days after the former House speaker, who has been married three times, was confronted by a Democratic student activist at the University of Pennsylvania about his admitted extramarital affair.

“We are a nation like no other. To remain so will require the dedicated participation of every citizen, of every neighborhood, of every background. This is the responsibility of a free people,” reads a message from Gingrich and his wife, who serves as president of Gingrich Productions, posted on the site.

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Ron Reagan: Palin has nothing in common with dad

MICHAEL R. BLOOD | February 4, 2011 10:46 AM EST | AP

LOS ANGELES — Sarah Palin is honoring one Reagan and offending another with the same speech.

The former Alaska governor is scheduled to speak in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Friday at a tribute to former President Ronald Reagan – just one of the celebrations marking the centennial of the 40th president’s birth on Feb. 6.

But his son, Ron Reagan, tells The Associated Press he doesn’t see anything in common between his dad and the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, who was invited to speak by the event’s sponsor, the conservative Young America’s Foundation.

“Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically. She’s doing mostly what she does to make money and keep her name in the news,” Reagan says.

“She is not a serious candidate for president and never has been,” said Reagan, a political independent whose politics lean left.

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I’m sitting here at my desk watching the oil droids hack away at the blowout preventer in preparation for the “cap” portion of the “cut and cap” procedure, which, contrary to what I’m hearing on cable news, is intended to do something other than stopping the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, this latest solution isn’t a solution for stopping the flow of oil at all. The oil will continue to gush from the well, only now BP will be able to more effectively harvest some of the oil — a more reliable version of what they were doing with the riser insertion tube for the better part of last month.

Good for them. So they can resume drinking their milkshake between now and August when, we hope, the relief well will be completed. At which time, corporate milkshake drinking will carry on via more conventional methods.

And why not? It’s the free market after all. As I watch these robots slice the riser from the blowout preventer and read the news about lakes of oil moving towards the coasts of Florida, I’m wondering who to blame for this. The list is long, but, in part, I blame anyone who bought into the lines: “government is the problem” and “the era of big government is over.” It’s been systematic deregulation and the elevation of free market libertarian laissez-faire capitalism that have wrought this damage and allowed potentially destructive corporations to write their own rules and do as they please.

Does anyone seriously believe that BP has suddenly become a philanthropic venture interested in doing whatever it takes — sparing no expense — to make the Gulf region whole again? It will do the absolute minimum necessary to weasel its way through this crisis. Not a red cent more.

Last week, while the “top kill” procedure was failing, BP continued its effort to fight regulations in Canada mandating relief wells for every offshore rig. Simultaneously, Rayola Dougher, a lobbyist with the American Petroleum Institute laughed off the notion of requiring relief wells here in America.

Dougher said on MSNBC, “That would be — that would really make it unviable [sic]. I couldn’t even imagine such a suggestion.” A relief well costs around $100 million. That would cut into revenues and so — nope.

This is one of many reasons why Robert Reich’s plan makes sense at this point. Temporary receivership. Despite the political peril involved in such an endeavor, the government should take over BP, its manpower and assets, and eliminate the corporate revenue motive from the capping and cleanup process. BP has proved itself incapable of tackling this job with the best interests of Gulf coast livelihoods and the marine environment in mind, and so they ought to lose their privileges to operate in the Gulf of Mexico for a while.

After all, the nature of any corporation is to mitigate losses and increase revenues. Keep the shareholders as happy as possible, spend the least amount of money necessary, hire the best lawyers to avoid paying punitive fines and get back to drilling and selling oil for profit. This is what corporations do.

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Irving Kristol, the political commentator who, as much as anyone, defined modern conservatism and helped revitalize the Republican Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s, setting the stage for the Reagan presidency and the years of conservative dominance that followed, died Friday. He was 89.

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http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na

Irving Kristol, godfather of the right

As the godfather of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol blazed a trail. The progressive movement could use a figure like him

Michael Tomasky,
guardian.co.uk
Friday 18 September 2009 22.00 BST

Few intellectuals of the 20th century were the equal of Irving Kristol, who died today at age 89, in terms of political influence. His journey from left to right from the 1940s to the 1970s was one that many others would follow, but he blazed the trail.

In the 1930s, he was a Trotskyite. Many a history exists describing the circle of formidable Jewish intellectuals who studied at City College of New York in Harlem – Kristol, Sidney Hook, Alfred Kazin, Irving Howe and many others. In those days, tables at the cafeteria were divided between Stalinists and Trots. Debates were ferocious, but it was assumed that one was on the left.

Things stayed that way for a long while. Even when Kristol was co-editing Encounter out of London with Stephen Spender in the 1950s, and even with that journal’s infusions from the CIA, it was a magazine of the anti-communist liberal-left.

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Robert Scheer | Truthdig | June 3, 2009

The three wise monkeys?

The three wise monkeys?

How could Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and author of generally excellent columns in The New York Times, get it so wrong? His column last Sunday—“Reagan Did It”—which stated that “the prime villains behind the mess we’re in were Reagan and his circle of advisers,” is perverse in shifting blame from the obvious villains closer at hand.

It is disingenuous to ignore the fact that the derivatives scams at the heart of the economic meltdown didn’t exist in President Reagan’s time. The huge expansion in collateralized mortgage and other debt, the bubble that burst, was the direct result of enabling deregulatory legislation pushed through during the Clinton years.

Ronald Reagan’s signing off on legislation easing mortgage requirements back in 1982 pales in comparison to the damage wrought 15 years later by a cabal of powerful Democrats and Republicans who enabled the wave of newfangled financial gimmicks that resulted in the economic collapse.

Reagan didn’t do it, but Clinton-era Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, now a top economic adviser in the Obama White House, did. They, along with then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and Republican congressional leaders James Leach and Phil Gramm, blocked any effective regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives that turned into the toxic assets now being paid for with tax dollars.

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