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Pierce writes: "You were the smiling face of unimaginable bigotry, the sunny spokesman for greed and selfishness, the friendly game-show host handing out cruelty as a lovely parting gift, the chuckling ringmaster summoning up the worse angels of our nature. You richly deserve in posterity every crazy thing that people now say they are doing in your name, in service to your legacy, and as a perfect statement of everything for which you once stood."

President Reagan at a rally for Texas Republican candidates in Irving, Texas, 10/11/82. (photo: Reagan Library)
President Reagan at a rally for Texas Republican candidates in Irving, Texas, 10/11/82. (photo: Reagan Library)



Dear Ronald Reagan: Thanks for Wrecking America

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Magazine

08 February 12

 

urns out yesterday would have been Ronald Reagan's 101st birthday. In all the excitement over the tsunami of Santorum that engulfed the country, it plumb got right by me. So, let me say, in my own belated way, and because behind-the-times was the basis for Reagan's entire career, happy birthday, ya silly old coot.

How do you like your party now, Ronnie? A Mormon everyone hates, a world-historical balloon animal 10 years past his sell-by date, a survivalist crank from Texas, and a guy who is pretty much a dick. That's the party you and your boys created. That's the end product of the "conservative movement" of which you were the amiable and occasionally coherent figurehead, a prop in your own life. You know how you know that's the case, Ronnie? Look how hard they're trying to memorialize you in concrete and marble. They stuck your name on National Airport, and on the biggest and ugliest building in Washington, D.C., to celebrate your devotion to smaller government. What was it that Bogart said in that detective movie?

The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

You taught us that "deficits don't matter." (Dick Cheney himself reminded us of that.) You sold missiles to the terrorist-sponsoring mullahs in Iran so you could sponsor our own priest-slaughtering terrorists in Central America, thereby laying the groundwork for all the secret deceptions in foreign policy that led to the Iraq war, which was designed and launched by some of your own old Iran-Contra hands, and thereby also laying the groundwork for the destructive increase in presidential power that continues (alas) to this day, under a Democratic president.

You did more than anyone else to demolish the notion of a political commonwealth, the principle that "government" is a common enterprise that must be undertaken by all citizens, and not some foreign entity to be whipped and controlled. You brought "states' rights" back from the historical ignominy where it richly deserved to have been sunk. You showed how The Other can get you elected, how elections are really simply magic shows of pretty images and soft music. You ruled for an entire second term as a symptomatic Alzheimer's patient and dared anyone to act in a patriotic manner and suggest you step down. Nobody did. You robbed the system of its confidence. You broke down important constitutional barriers that have yet to be reconstructed. You were the first among vandals.

You unleashed the stubborn archetypes that still stalk the process. The young bucks buying steaks. The welfare queen in her Cadillac. Today it's "illegals" flooding our streets, and poor people with their gout and their flatscreen TV's. And yet, at the end, when you did some genuine work with Gorbachev on defusing the Cold War, or when you raised taxes in 1983 to get us out of the recession caused by your first Crayola-sketched budget, they turned on you in a big way. Howard Phillips called you a "useful idiot," and even George Will was forced to put down his sherry, shake his head sadly, and pronounce that he found in your foreign policy "little delight." (Oh, George. You're so ... rugged.) In 1987, when the Soviet Union was falling to pieces, Will wrote:

"Reagan seems to accept the core of the catechism of the anti-nuclear left - the notion that the threat is the existence of nuclear weapons, not the nature of the Soviet regime."

That's gratitude for you right there, Ronnie. And thus was established yet another principle held dear by the political movement you championed - anything a beloved leader does of which the hardbars do not approve is simply Not Conservative. Thus did you help dig the memory hole in which is now deeply entombed the entire presidency of George W. Bush. Thus did you create the mechanism by which your younger acolytes can now turn you into a tin god to be worshiped by a party in which your actual policies might well now be considered too liberal for discussion.

You were the smiling face of unimaginable bigotry, the sunny spokesman for greed and selfishness, the friendly game-show host handing out cruelty as a lovely parting gift, the chuckling ringmaster summoning up the worse angels of our nature. You richly deserve in posterity every crazy thing that people now say they are doing in your name, in service to your legacy, and as a perfect statement of everything for which you once stood. Enjoy it, wherever you are and, like I said, happy birthday.

 

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+239 # pernsey 2012-02-08 15:57
Ronald Reagan is the conservatives God, the perfect president. They idolize this man that ruined our country...he didnt have all his faculties he was a shill for the right wing nut jobs...and it worked, unfortunately.
 
 
+118 # John Locke 2012-02-09 07:14
pernsey: Lets lay the blame where it belongs, HW Bush ran the presidency... Reagan was the figure head to allow Bush to control the White house. Bush Sr actually controlled the White House for 12 years, 8 with Reagan and 4 when he managed to trick the people into electing him president. His idiot son, the alcoholic cook snorting fool (Bush sr. insisted Cheney was his VP) ran it for 8 additional years: The Bush family with their Skull and Bones fascist theories and associates have controlled the direction of this country for 20 years...when you know this families background you can understand why we are in the mess we are in today. Why we have evolved into a fascist police state... Never forget The family wealth came from financing Hitler and the second world war... Reagan was a fool yes, he was a clown that lacked common sense...He made a joke about everything to hide his incompetence... he made a mess of California but he was loved because he was an actor! there is no doubt he was affected by his disease while president... and there is no doubt Bush made all the decisions including running the Drug operation Iran/Contra and killing witnesses who would testify against him.
 
 
+26 # X Dane 2012-02-09 22:48
John Locke, I couldn't stand Reagan. He did a lot of damage to California too. One of his missdeeds: he closed down the mental hospitals. The people in Santa Monica live with the fall out from that caper. The City Hall area is a mess, because a lot of mentally ill homeless people hang around on the lawns every day.

Reagan was a bad governor, and a terrible president, even if Bush may have been the "power behind the throne"
As we know he was also an informant in the Mc Carthy era. And he messed up California on his own.
 
 
+20 # pernsey 2012-02-10 07:09
I totally agree with you John Locke, Reagan was a shill for the right wing nut jobs, the Bush family and Cheney took everything to the umteenth degree. for some reason the conservatives just think Reagan was the greatest thing, there all American hero. They couldnt be further from the truth, he was the pits as were the 2 Bushes that followed him.
 
 
+8 # pamitty 2012-02-10 15:24
Quoting pernsey:
I totally agree with you John Locke, Reagan was a shill for the right wing nut jobs, the Bush family and Cheney took everything to the umteenth degree. for some reason the conservatives just think Reagan was the greatest thing, there all American hero. They couldnt be further from the truth, he was the pits as were the 2 Bushes that followed him.


It's real irony that the things he did do good are the things that are all too liberal to be considered republican.
I believe everyone has said the truth here. I have a book called "THe house of Bush House of Saud" I just got it but expect it to reveal a whole lot.
 
 
+4 # Muffy787 2012-02-12 05:58
I have read the House of Bush etc, It is excellent. There is also another one called Family of Secrets which sends chills up your spine. The Bush family has been corrupt for years.
 
 
+7 # RMDC 2012-02-11 06:29
Reagan set the definition of "useful idiot" -- useful that is to the military industrial complex.
 
 
+185 # What Now Toons 2012-02-08 16:42
The Reagan Revolution brought us Trickle Down economics, attacked unions, and dismantled much of what FDR accomplished. and look where it's got us today, the wealthy and corporations are making money 200 plus times faster than the average worker, who's income has been in decline. My latest cartoon is about Reagan's trickle down theory,
www.whatnowtoons.com
it's up now. Left of center Independent political cartoons
 
 
+81 # jon 2012-02-08 21:37
If I recall correctly Jim Hightower rightly called it "Tinkle-down" economics.
 
 
+71 # Progressive Patriot 2012-02-09 01:58
Reagan brought us what I like to call "trickle-down stupidity". Americans now believe that the government is the enemy. (Actually, it _is_ the enemy, today, in it's corporate controlled, anti-People form, but wasn't when Reagan said it was.) Stupidity is King, and intelligence is frowned upon, by the majority.

Nothing has ever trickled down economically.
 
 
+16 # Billy Bob 2012-02-09 16:33
Roy Zimmerman calls it "TRICKLE DROWN".
 
 
+191 # veros 2012-02-08 17:08
Reagan was passing out the license to hate: hate the government, hate the welfare recipient, hate the liberals, hate the blacks, hate taxes, hate social security. He was one hateful person.
 
 
+18 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 06:42
Reagan didn't hate, he was truly a people person. He helped America heal in a way that Carter was unable to do. And we did need healing after runaway inflation, Watergate, Viet Nam, and the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK.

Ronald Reagan was enabler of the Haters that became the Conservative movement, he was ignorant of the issues that faced America, such as Race, Energy, Economics. His actual policies have been distorted over time to ignore the non conservative compromises he made, to the point where most Right Wing Idiots don't know that Reagan actually raised taxes sometimes. This type of ignorance is his true Legacy: "Ignore the facts, disregard history, lets implement voodoo economics, calculated using fuzzy math and decide policy while wearing ideological straight jackets."

But that's OK because Ronald Reagan made us forget about the 60's and 70's.

Thanks Ronnie! We are grateful all your followers have brought down upon us. NOT!

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN!!
They all want to imitate Ronald Reagan.
 
 
+56 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 08:26
Quoting LiberalLibertarian:
Reagan didn't hate, he was truly a people person. He helped America heal in a way that Carter was unable to do. And we did need healing after runaway inflation, Watergate, Viet Nam, and the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK.

Ronald Reagan was enabler of the Haters -------!
They all want to imitate Ronald Reagan.

You are SOOO wrong about Reagan not hating. He hated the poor, ("I was poor once and now ---!" or words to that effect), he hated the left and was a tattle-tale and fink for McCarthy, he hated the environment -otherwise why would he have turned the appalling James Watt loose on the land? And he was no lover of peace.
And don't forget that his V.P.-to-be daddy Bush did a deal with the hostage-takers and Mullahs to keep the Iran hostages back until R' was elected.
He was NOT a people person either -just a consummate actor and not a good one either. He just played the amiable buffoon to lull the more-easily-swa yed into the "Aw-shucks" comfort zone. Ergo, his main contribution to US politics was plunging it into the age of infotainment from which it has never recovered and is in fact getting worse. I remember his barf-making ads using "Nancy, I couldn't do it without Nancy" (-and her psychic decision-makers , what?)
And he has the distinction of massively increasing the government he claimed to be "The problem" by 189%,
Nice eh?
How many of you were "Reagan Democrats" b.t.w.?
 
 
+25 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 10:25
reiverpacific,

I have no idea how many were Reagan Democrats. I do know that I was not one of them. I have never ever been a fan of, or a voter for Ronald Reagan.

If you read my second paragraph you will see what I called his legacy, not much different from what you said. And I stand by what I said, he was an enabler of those that were haters. He is still responsible for his actions that allowed the decline of the Middle Class to take root, strong environmental laws to stagnate, anti-trust legislation to wither away, Racism to fester, and energy policy to become more hazardous to our health and safety. Oh and you are right, he loved war, but not to a larger degree than other Presidents.

Please do not assume that when someone says something slightly positive about somebody that they are in love with them.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 15:29
Quoting LiberalLibertarian:
reiverpacific,

I have no idea how many were Reagan Democrats. I do know that I was not one of them. I have never ever been a fan of, or a voter for Ronald Reagan.

If you read my second paragraph you will see what I called his legacy, not much different from what you said. And I stand by what I said, he was an enabler of those that were haters. He is still responsible for his actions that allowed the decline of the Middle Class to take root, strong environmental laws to stagnate, anti-trust legislation to wither away, Racism to fester, and energy policy to become more hazardous to our health and safety. Oh and you are right, he loved war, but not to a larger degree than other Presidents.

Please do not assume that when someone says something slightly positive about somebody that they are in love with them.

No assumption made -just not taken in by his play-acting (including the "Nancy" ad) but don't take my word for it; look at his pre-pres' record from credible sources. And when I wondered how many were Reagan Democrats I was not suggesting for a minute that you were one so don't take it so personally. Just asking a fair question.
 
 
+4 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 21:47
I was not doubting your pre prez record, in fact I am aware of it.

I may have been over sensitive about the Reagan Democrat, but it came across to me as an accusation. No matter.

I think we may have to agree to disagree about whether or not RR was a hater. In the end we agree about two major points. First, RR, intentionally or not, set the US on a path into ignorance. And second, The Right Wing blogs really suck because they don't allow any dissension to be heard. (more ignorance)
 
 
-4 # MylesJ 2012-02-09 11:26
He was telling the truth when he said he couldn't do it without Nancy. He never fully recovered from being shot. I can't recall him being in public after that happened without Nancy or Deaver nearby. I never fully recovered from my medical problems either so I can sympathize.
 
 
+11 # Billy Bob 2012-02-09 14:15
Do you think it made him more callous and conniving?
 
 
+12 # Byronator 2012-02-09 21:43
And the elephant in the room fact is that America had a president for two terms who had mild to moderate Alzheimers Disease while holding the highest office in the land. We can no longer mock British history and George III, especially after Reagan and his own two mentally incapacitated George (Bush) successors.
 
 
+12 # Okieangels 2012-02-09 15:42
I was too young to register to vote when RR was elected...but I was still smart enough to see through his BS.
 
 
+14 # kyzipster 2012-02-10 04:25
As a gay person who watched his friends die off during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s when the White House refused to even acknowledge what was going on, I beg to differ.

It doesn't matter to me what he might have believed personally, he embraced the politics of division and hate that has created the toxic and stagnant climate we live in today.
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2012-02-09 23:04
You forgot: hate the gays, veros. He refused to do anything about Aids. I am sure he hoped it would kill them and solve the problem.

He made it much worse for it gave the illnes time to spread, before warnings and information could help some to take precautions.
 
 
+155 # Rick Levy 2012-02-08 18:04
Excellent recount.
"They stuck your name on National Airport, and on the biggest and ugliest building in Washington, D.C., to celebrate your devotion to smaller government."

By the way, Reagan was already exhibiting signs of dementia when he was governor of California. But no one paid attention--exce pt his handlers who saw an oppy to turn a Hollywood prop into a presidential prop whom they could manipulate to the max. Boy did they ever.
 
 
+47 # Progressive Patriot 2012-02-09 02:03
Makes one wonder just how much of the time George HW Bush was actually running things. We've had 20 years of Bushes controlling things. It's time we got a real Progressive in there, for a change.
 
 
+68 # Archie1954 2012-02-08 21:09
The Great Communicator was a B actor but that was good enough to land him in the Whitehouse and while he was there his acting improved. For instance hardly anyone noticed he was failing mentally. Hs wife knew and she, being the treacherous B actress she was, kept it quiet putting the whole country in terrible jeopardy.
 
 
+64 # lloydapianoman 2012-02-08 21:10
Ronald Reagan has always been the cheap glossy veneer covering up the ugliness of the hatred toward minorities (anti affirmative action), the Great Society, and the pacifist movement. Not my idea of an American Patriot, if you ask me.
 
 
+10 # DaveM 2012-02-08 21:12
I can see it now: Ronald Reagan and Elvis Presley walking hand in hand into the sunset....on black velvet.
 
 
+16 # Legion 2012-02-08 21:36
Awwwww, shucks! I'm not hateful. Weeellll.....I had people around me who were, so what? It is morning in America. Morning? What's that? Shining city on a hill. I said that? Shucks. Weeelll, "King's Row" was a good movie!
 
 
+57 # npeppin 2012-02-08 21:51
and, because he really hated all those students and their uppity attitudes, he destroyed the higher education system in the state of California
 
 
+51 # lisamoskow 2012-02-08 21:55
Thanks for this reminder of the real Ronald Reagan. You are a wonderful and colorful
writer as well. So much of what is true
has been dumbed down and down and down.
 
 
+28 # freeportguy 2012-02-08 22:19
We have to be careful here. People try to do a lot of things in Reagan's name the same way they do with Jesus' name: invoke a popular name to sell their junk.

What was good (and sometimes necessary) in 1980 does not apply anymore, although some people are clinging to the illusion of "one size fits all" politics and try to freeze us in a time that doesn't exist anymore.

But the way GOPers try to deify Reagan is ludicrous and counterproducti ve.
 
 
+28 # Ellioth 2012-02-08 22:27
Let's see now - "I"ll increase defense spending, lower your taxes and balance the budget." A liar or a fool?

The guy that drove us into deep deficits after 200 years or virtually no debt)

Or was Reagan the real Chauncey Gardner? Hmmmm
 
 
+10 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 07:39
I thought Chauncey Gardner was Bush II.
 
 
+49 # m... 2012-02-08 22:28
Scene: Indoors: A brightly lit hall:
Reagan Blurts- 'GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM.'
The 30 year long Corporate CONservative FLIM FLAM begins to disassemble the greatest, most envied Government System in World History at the behest of Global Corporate Interests under the umbrella Talking Point of 'Getting Government Off Our Backs.'
It's all sold as the pathway to greater Freedom, Liberty and Prosperity for ALL!
Relentless Deregulation and De-Taxation Schemes on behalf of Global Corporate Interests occur year after year.
Global Corporate Wealth, Power, Size and Influence snowballs as their Want and Greed is unshackled.
Government is bought and paid for.
The expanding power and wealth of the 1% Global Corporate Class accelerates.
Almost all Media Enterprises are bought and exploited by a very few Global Conglomerates beholden only to their Global Shareholders.
The snowballing of Corporate power and influence becomes exponential.
The Talking Point is now- 'SMALLER GOVERNMENT' (aka, Less Government) in the name of LIBERTY FOR ALL!
Corporate Contracting of Government Functions into a million bits and useless pieces for the sake of Corporate Coffers spreads to all levels of Government.
We the People become known as We the Consumers.
Corporate Dominion over everything expands to 'Brave New Orwellian World' size.
WELCOME TO THE OUTCOME OF THE REAGAN CONSERVATIVE REVOLUTION, Government run by Global Corporate Lobby.
 
 
+42 # stonecutter 2012-02-08 23:09
"Useful Idiots". Isn't that the correct label for a large chunk of the electorate? Aren't they the ones who've oozed us, like colonic peristalsis, rigged election after rigged election after rigged election, from "there" all the way down and out to "here".

"There" is the public world that once made sense, with hundreds of competitive media outlets that actually investigated wrong-doing and helped promote "common" justice and fairness, Murrow and Cronkite and Woodward & Bernstein, actual privacy, the seminal Watergate Hearings, proving "No one, not even the president, is above the law" (at least until Bush/Cheney), at least 20% down required to buy any home, your credit and ability to pay investigated up the wazoo before you got a mortgage held by the lender, guys like Boesky, Keating, Milken and Ebbers sent to prison for stuff that today gets you a multi-million dollar retention bonus (Bill Moyers interviews former Citicorp CEO John Reed online...jaw-dr opping).

"Here" is THIS: the giant, steaming pile of fraudulent, unaccountable, corrupt, bought, lying, greedy, did I mention corrupt, shit we call the ravaged American economy and political clown circus, where the Super PAC is the new "citizen", and the citizen schmo is a squashed sugar ant under Sheldon Adelson's spa slipper. Mike Deaver and Don Regan had Ronnie sewed up tight; they were the Buffalo Bob twins to Reagan's Howdy Doody. The presidential lips moved, but whose voice came out? Show Biz.
 
 
+30 # Ralph Averill 2012-02-09 01:15
Reagan is more valuable as a myth than he was as a puppet/presiden t; a wonderful addition to the mythology conservatives have created about our history, the framers of the Constitution, the origin of the human race, the Earth, and the entire universe.
"Gather 'round, children. Once upon a time...."
 
 
+64 # ori z 2012-02-09 02:00
I've been saying for years through offten gritted teeth to anyone who will listen that someday someone will write the true history of the United States in the twentieth century and that Reagan will be recast, as he should be, as the villain par excellence, who brought all the ugliest parts of what we are and can be--as Americans and as human beings--to the forefront, while always smiling that crocodile smile. (And I am not even TALKING about the irony of having Natl Airport named for him, oh ye striking airport controllers!) Congratulations , Mr Piercce, for having begun to write that history. Please continue!
 
 
+5 # pamitty 2012-02-10 15:49
I agree he should continue and maybe you should too and M and Stonecutter and Pernsey and John Locke and any one who is able to remember and write well and truthfully about the history, real history. And publishers get into the thick of it publishing as many of the Truth-telling history books.
The more who can tell the story the better, they will find it harder to get rid of many than few.
 
 
+35 # Artemis 2012-02-09 02:05
When the conservative ruling party's Defense Minister tried to push a memorial to Ronald Reagan in Berlin, the city put a quick stop to that! Now the Defense Minister is also gone, in disgrace for plagarizing his doctorate. he is now hanging out in the USA plotting his return to something.
One does wonder about people who admire the likes of Reagan and Thatcher.
 
 
+58 # vt143 2012-02-09 02:22
...and every time I pass a homeless person--and that's damn often!--I think of Ronnie, who emptied out the mental hospitals to save money to make more missiles. And the Republicans today stay with the program, going after the weak and defenseless in order to feed the beast...
 
 
-132 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-09 04:45
Charles Pierce has resorted to the standard of what Dems must do when their record sucks, name calling of the Republicans. Heard the facts yesterday that the 1% richest in America pay 40% of the taxes. That the lower 50% pay less than 2% of the tax in America. Seems fair, eh? That is why this site, RSN, get no funding and is crying poverty as it indicates this morning that 1% pay for the site that the 99% enjoy. Same thing, the wealthiest cover the others. And you want to take them more? Why? Pierce, get a real job!!!
 
 
+40 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 07:44
Robt

Because the 1% have so much of the f-ing money and the bottom 50% have way too little is the reason for the disparity.

How about implementing policies to spread the wealth (Oh my! Is LL a COMMIE?) then your problem goes away.

Get it?
 
 
-69 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-09 11:48
Spread the wealth? Liberal, get out there and EARN IT. Stop trying to get something for nothing. Man, I don't deny anyone else who is better off than me, I applaud them for what ever they did to get it, hopefully they earned it legitimately and never harmed anyone else in the process. You feel harmed because you didn't get your share for sitting on your ass, or not being as smart or educated ans the fella who is? Come on get real and stop whining about your lot in life because some one else has more. Work harder or smarter than that guy and you will have more, Bil Gates, Steve Jobs, the guy who created the social media, etc. all did just that. Oh and the actors and sports figures who all make tons of money, good for them. Should they share their wealth with you? I don't think so. Should the NY Giants share their trophy and winnings with you, I don't think so.
 
 
+37 # John Locke 2012-02-09 12:16
Robt Eagle: Glad you brought up Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg "your Idles" FYI Bill gates ripped of his partner and stole the company...and Mark Zuckerberg did the same thing... as for Steve Jobs He was sued by ACI when he left the company ... he took proprietary information and key technological personnel with him and founded his own company....Do your idles sound like people with ethics? Your three champions were essentailly thieves...Inter esting you worship thieves!
 
 
+12 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 13:51
John,

Most moguls did something shady and got away with it. Wasn't that Robt's exception to his wealth goes to the worthy speech?

Most of the uber-wealthy either won the gene pool lottery or stole something. Except maybe for entertainers, especially Giselle; looking at her is very entertaining! (Something for my super sensitive female friends to get upset about)
 
 
+28 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-09 12:59
Share the wealth does not mean what you think it does. You are just exposing yourself as a selfish, egotistical, fool. Have I ever said that people deserve being paid for sitting on their arses? NO I HAVE NOT.
I am stopping now, because your simplistic thinking that somehow the market distributes wealth with any kind of fairness. You are naive. The Giants won the game, they get the trophy. Period. The market worked in that case and in the field of sports usually does.

But does Giselle or Tom deserve the extraordinary pay they make? Is that fair to the teacher, the nurse, the garbage collector, the help desk person that really does help you, the waiter that makes sure you are treated as well as the multi millionaire at the tablenext you.

STOP BLAMING VICTIMS!

It is ruder than shouting. And it is also disgustingly wrong.
 
 
+23 # Torvus 2012-02-09 14:26
Quote:
Work harder or smarter than that guy and you will have more
O Great Platitudinous One - basically you are suggesting that the American jobless move to China or Korea perhaps? Kind of 'follow your leaders'? And maybe Americans would be smarter if teachers were paid a better salary, rather than (deliberately?) keeping US education at such a low standard that in 2009 by International standards the US came 37th in Maths? Communist China came first. Perhaps it was this lack of Maths talent that caused the global economic crisis? Not just greed, but sheer stupidity? I'm only asking.
 
 
+23 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 11:15
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Charles Pierce has resorted to the standard of what Dems must do when their record sucks, name calling of the Republicans. Heard the facts yesterday that the 1% richest in America pay 40% of the taxes. That the lower 50% pay less than 2% of the tax in America. Seems fair, eh? That is why this site, RSN, get no funding and is crying poverty as it indicates this morning that 1% pay for the site that the 99% enjoy. Same thing, the wealthiest cover the others. And you want to take them more? Why? Pierce, get a real job!!!

You are full of self-generated swamp-gas and assumption as usual Mr Robot-Eagle. I'm one of the "New Poor" yet I support RSN with as much or little as I can manage and it's pretty little most of the time, spread the word as suggested. Like other non-commercial media such as our local radio KBOO, the real news is worth a little every month for the privilege of calling or writing in and sharing sometimes unique points of view. It is pretty typical for any truly free media (And I exclude the milquetoast PBS in this) that relies on it's supporters to keep going, that only about 10% of the readers/listene rs in their demographic actually donate and/or volunteer. And they always allow free, unfiltered access to gasbags like you but it doesn't work the other way round -you still haven't pointed me at a right-wing anything where I can butt in like you do; go on, make a liar out of me!
 
 
+19 # suzyskier 2012-02-09 14:44
Robt Eagle, if you hate this site please be assured you may leave at any time. Not sure why you come here in the first place??
 
 
+7 # kyzipster 2012-02-10 04:30
No, it's not fair. The richest 1% controls 42% of the wealth in this country, their tax burden should be heavier, the same rate of the 1990s before the Bush tax cuts and unfortunately for you the majority of voters agree.
 
 
+4 # Torvus 2012-02-10 17:28
[quote name="Robt Eagle . . . the 1% richest in America pay 40% of the taxes. That the lower 50% pay less than 2% of the tax in America. . . " Thank you, O Great All-knowing One, for pointing out that it is the mainly the rich who are funding US wars here, there and everywhere. Those mostly in the 'lower 50%' go and fight them. To keep you safe.
 
 
+1 # Torvus 2012-02-13 14:35
PART 1: I thought that Mr Eagle would have written a humble word of gratitude to the fact that he is still safe. Is he not? Maybe this commentary is winding down. Maybe he feels no gratitude. Maybe he knows that the US military are not keeping him safe - they are keeping corporations safe. So that if/when US military personnel come home and get back to civilian life, there are no jobs for them: they have protected the corporations that have sent their jobs oversees. Ironic, isn't it? The military "50%" have paid more than a mere 2% of tax - they have paid their lives. How much tax is that worth? Those who sadly died for US corporations have no more worries, though their families will. But there are the lives of those who live on and are disabled, or whose minds have been messed. Maybe some of them are now living with other jobless people in storm drains in Las Vegas; or in the ruins of Detroit; or in tent cities; or clapped out old trailers; living on the food and medical handouts of lovely volunteers. Or "working hard" to catch rats to eat. Because no one is hiring. Businesses have closed.
 
 
+1 # Torvus 2012-02-13 14:36
PART 2: "Work hard etc" is a stupid remark endlessly trotted out by those who have no idea what has happened in and to their country. Republicans, it seems to me, have made America a spiteful, mean, sour and rotten place to be, unless you are well shielded from its sordidness. Republicans can't cope with the variety a country offers; they just manage it to suit their own comfort. No more, no less. They appear to have no shame. Treating the wonderful, intelligent and kind people who are not Republicans with contempt says more about Republicans than anything else. Poor America. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9695000/9695217.stm.
 
 
+1 # Torvus 2012-02-13 15:37
PART 3: Life I have already mentioned. It is often given up for unworthy causes. Liberty in the US? Yes. Everyone’s free to sleep out in tents, everyone’s free to starve, everyone’s free to die of a treatable illness they can’t afford to get treatment for . . . Newt Gingrich suggests that children be hired to clean out toilets/bathroo ms and get some money that way. Republicans have made America, for many many Americans, a living hell. Yes, they have wrecked it.
 
 
0 # Torvus 2012-02-14 10:37
PS Perhaps the Eagles of this world can explain to me why a perfectly useless chicken-pluckin g factory was merrily built in Iraq, with tax-payers' dollars (see http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175448/peter_van_buren_chickening_out_in_iraq), and yet no places for the desperate homeless/jobles s can apparently be built in the US? Are Iraqi chicken-feather s more important than your own people, for god's sake? Why are the heavily-taxed not rising in their ones, tens (or hundreds) to complain at this sheer waste of their precious money? Are they too comfortable? Too lazy (ie not hard-working enough)? Too merciless? And how many lunatics are there in the US government - Loony Goons? - to approve of this demented idea? Is there one brain cell between the lot of them? I am sure there is no heart.
 
 
+51 # RLF 2012-02-09 04:52
Remember his death squads in central America? What a piece of S#*T!
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 17:47
Quoting RLF:
Remember his death squads in central America? What a piece of S#*T!

Yep; and many of them came home to the School of the Americas -or came out of there in the first place.
 
 
-120 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 05:06
Charles P. Pierce- a hack political writer that will long be ignored by the present and future.
 
 
+24 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-09 07:06
Enlightened and considered expressions of disapproval offered in the most respectful and effective manner, your contributions demonstrate the thoughtful productivity of true conservative belief.
 
 
+26 # paganrik 2012-02-09 05:07
SAD you did not even mention AIDS.... and so true of ronnie raygun's "legacy". ... except for those of us who lost so many.
 
 
-99 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 05:19
Ronny Ray Gun Reagan
- Bankrupted the now former soviet union ( a trick big government welfare state liberals and big government warfare neocons are doing here) Got us out of the double digit Cartertarian inflation malaze (we are now repeating that by volume of cash to low friends in high places - AUDIT THE FED) and restored the notion that we can be the shining city on the hill.
 
 
+51 # edwin_ 2012-02-09 08:11
I love the way Repug re-write history

Lets not forget that :
-Carter inheirted inflation from nixon / Ford. Remenber WIP –whip inflation Now bottons
_Carter Appointed Volker
-the Repubs totally sandbagged Carter at every turn and sabatodged every bill t omake carter look bad
-the oil embargos were the result of the blowback of failed mdeast policy..look at the price of oil and inflation and they are the same chart
-much of that inflation was the result of the debt encountered during the vietman war
-much of Carter policies were startng to work as reagan stole the election with the, behind the scenes , arms for hostage deal with the enemy
–all reagan did was increase military spending on the arms race/cold war to make to economy after inflaton was undre control
although regan has been cannonized by the tea party, his administration was extreeemly corrupt where Carter played by the rules
 
 
-37 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 12:56
FYI edwin - when Reagan stepped into the white house Jan 81 inflation was officially 11.8% in one year it had dropped to 8.4 and by time he left it was 4.7 with a low of 1.8 in nov 1986.

Carter before him started with inflation at 5.2%

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/
 
 
+21 # edwin_ 2012-02-09 16:15
Martintfre, The inflation rate at that time was tracking the price of oil both were trending upward. The price of oil which was $3+/bbl during nixon shot up to $25/bbl during the Carter Admin.

Carter appointed Volker as the Fedhead and he kept raising interests rates until inflation subsided. The high interest rate policys were just starting to work when RayGun stole the office.

The main problem was the high oil prices and the OPEC fake oil shortages .
 
 
+5 # karenvista 2012-02-11 16:17
[quote name="Martintfr e"]Ronny Ray Gun Reagan
- Bankrupted the now former soviet union quote]

I was in the Soviet Union 3 months after their invasion of Afghanistan and it was obvious, even then, that their economy would collapse. The CIA knew it and let the White House know but Reagan and Bush didn't find that information to be to their liking because they wouldn't be able to justify their massive increase in military/indust rial spending if that were the case.

They decided to punish the Russia hands at the CIA and set up something they called TEAM B which would come up with the fear mongering data that they needed to be able to rob the American people and transfer wealth to their friends in the defense industries. Just like Baby Bush did when Rumsfeld/Cheney did the same thing to the CIA again prior to the Iraq war with his Defense Intelligence Agency which cooked up lies with Ahmed Chalabi an his goons.

As I said during the Iraq war- "I never thought I'd feel nostalgic for the good old days of Nixon and the CIA."
 
 
+3 # Activista 2012-02-11 21:07
Militaristic empire "Soviet Union" collapsed on its own stupidity/syste m -
Militaristic empire USA is probably in the worst situation today - "10 years after their invasion of Afghanistan"
 
 
+59 # Peace Anonymous 2012-02-09 05:42
Reagan was simply the poster boy for corporate America. He was bought and paid for by the supporters of Friedman economics. He is gone. They are still here.
 
 
-34 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 12:36
Obama is the greatest poster child for mega corporations the planet has ever seen.

GM (Government Motors)AIG, Fanny Mae, Freddi Mack .. Goldman Sacs ... The FED. Those who look only at republican cronyism and ignore democratic cronyism are just as stupid as those who only look at democrat cronyism and ignore republican's. We are getting screwed by both party elites.
 
 
+7 # Capn Canard 2012-02-10 18:09
Martinfre, you mention the FED and I hope you are aware that the FED is a privately owned banking beast. If we got rid of the FED it could be good... or even possibly worse. It just depends on whether or not a criminal cabal(a conspiracy!) could gets their hands on the money making machine! You can bet your life they would take great effort to get control!
 
 
+28 # Midwestgeezer 2012-02-09 05:55
I reccommend his son Ron's book: "Ronald Reagan - My Father at 100". It gives a sneak peek into the mind of his father. Evil? No! Somewhat shallow? Yup. In charge? Your call.
 
 
-50 # Robt Eagle 2012-02-09 11:50
Ron Jr couldn't tie his Dad's shoe lace and is so jealous of his great father's accomplishments .
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 16:58
Quoting DaveM:
I can see it now: Ronald Reagan and Elvis Presley walking hand in hand into the sunset....on black velvet.

Quoting Robt Eagle:
Ron Jr couldn't tie his Dad's shoe lace and is so jealous of his great father's accomplishments.

Aye -tripping over his own shoe laces most of the time, protected by his handlers.
 
 
+16 # Okieangels 2012-02-09 15:55
Evil? Of course he was. No one ever said "evil" had to be intelligent.
 
 
+26 # artful 2012-02-09 05:56
Yes, St. Ronald, the amiable dunce who racism Ok again in America.
 
 
+32 # edwin_ 2012-02-09 06:02
[You taught us that "deficits don't matter." (Dick Cheney himself reminded us of that.)]

That is the voodoo economics tenat of repug/tea party that "deficits don't matter." Unless there is a Democratic president
 
 
+21 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-09 06:06
And, dear Ronnie, you would not then or now have had a clue about any of these things. It seems so apparent that scripted pretense of false reality is what half our citizens prefer ... your simple black/white set of alternatives that only require applause ... leave 'thinking' at the door and enjoy the ride into the sunset.
 
 
+40 # lcarrier 2012-02-09 06:38
With the help of slick advertising and a craven mass media, the low-information public not only re-elected the smiling-faced demented one, they did it all over again with the cocaine-addled dry drunk, GWB. And these are the same puppeteers who want to cut spending for public education so people will stay ignorant and continue to vote against their own interests.
 
 
+46 # rhgreen 2012-02-09 06:39
Excellent article. Probably too over-the-top for most people's taste, but I'm with with it pretty much 100%. Really, though, we should blame the electorate not Reagan so much. Subtlety a la Jimmy Carter on issues foreign and domestic (including "we have to face some reality and do some things that will hurt") was no match for Reagan's simplicity of view, his quick cure mantra. It was like a "take this wonder drug and all will be well painlessly" snake-oil salesman. And the American people bought it. As the saying goes, now they own it. They will also own the economic and social mess that will result from continuing to believe it and to elect spokesmen for it. Hey, don't blame Reagan so much. If it hadn't been him someone else would have discovered that ploy. His charm undoubtedly helped, but at bottom (heh!) the important factor was that the electorate was in the mood to buy snake oil, and not to think difficult thoughts and sacrifice anything for future well-being. We'll all pay for it of course when we're called to account - and that day may not be that far off - economically, socially, internationally , .... if we proceed the way these simplistic yahoos want us to. And when that day comes the same sort of people will tell us "it wasn't our fault!", elect me and I'll stand against the tide! Then we'll find out what a failed fascist outlaw regime looks like.
 
 
+48 # kelly 2012-02-09 06:42
Reagan WAS a dope!! How many remember him from his Hollywood days, during the "red" scandal that wiped out some of the best creative minds and actors in the business because they were suspected of being sympathizers? Thing is, it is not I repeat NOT illegal to be a communist in the U.S. It is a political party or affiliation like any other. How many lives did he ruin before he even got into politics? Many of the persons he pointed the finger at, just had Jewish or Jewish sounding names. Think of it, we had just finished fighting a war against the Holocaust in Germany and here we were promoting a form of anti-semetism. It was totally unacceptable. Just like his presidency was.
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2012-02-11 06:26
Kelly -- right you are!
 
 
+43 # jimvw2@msn.com 2012-02-09 07:06
THANK YOU! At last, someone actually says what we've all known for 30 years. Reagan was a cardboard cutout stand-in for Milton Friedman and his cabal of Chicago school economic fascists, determined to destroy our union and turn it into a greed-driven transnational corporation that supports a plutocracy of the uberwealthy.
 
 
+23 # moby doug 2012-02-09 07:15
Poor Ronnie tried to tell us what a pathetic excuse for a leader he was with the title of his autobiography: "Where's the Rest of Me?" and in a TV interview when he said his favorite movie was: "Frankenstein." But not enough Americans were listening.
 
 
+21 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-02-09 07:32
Mr. Pierce,
You mean to say that you don't think Reagan should replace Jefferson on Mount Rushmore?
How unkind of you, and on his birthday too!
 
 
+30 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-02-09 07:54
& Reagan blocked AIDS research, guaranteeing a plague. Some legacy.
 
 
-42 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 12:44
Quoting Kootenay Coyote:
& Reagan blocked AIDS research, guaranteeing a plague. Some legacy.


So it was Reagan that was personally spreading it ... Gees And I thought it was largely a symptom of a behavioral choice.

And it came to pass that they all got it in the end.
 
 
+21 # michelle 2012-02-09 15:49
While he may not have spread AIDS "personally", I strongly suggest you read 'And the band Played on', a book, for a look at the Reagan administration' s role in the spread of AIDS. America's failure to understand the disease and develop strategies for combating it can be traced to back to Reagan. Facts por favor, facts.
 
 
+24 # ABen 2012-02-09 08:16
Not a bad man at his core, just narrow-minded, short-sighted, and unable (or unwilling) to distinguish between Patriotism and Nationalism. Also, Reagan set back R&D in the Solar Power industry by killing all forms of financial incentives in '83' and '84.' Perhaps the worst thing his admin did for American political debate was to adopt the tactics of Lee Atwater, the political operative who invented the mercenary style that Karl Rove later perfected.
 
 
+18 # Guy 2012-02-09 08:34
Only in the USA do you elect movie stars that know nothing of politics and economics.They were just figure heads repeating what they were told to say in speeches that made some people feel good.
In his regime,many died in Central and South America in order that the Doles etc. could benefit from cheap labor and exploit
the general populations.I have no fond memories of Ronald Reagan,although things have gotten so much out of hand today with covert actions all over the world,in the efforts of regime change,that it does make him look good by today's standards.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2012-02-11 16:33
"Only in the USA do you elect movie stars that know nothing of politics and economics."

But haven't you all noticed that modern Republicans ALWAYS propose the stupidest person they can find to be president. Reagan was just the first in a string of malleable, ethics-free figureheads that TPTB use to be the front-man for their diabolical policies.

They always make sure that there are plenty of wars so they can launder public money and turn it into private profit and kill off a sufficient number of the 99% at the same time. Two birds with one stone.

And the American people fall for it over and over as long as it's disguised in enough fear.
 
 
+17 # Stumper 2012-02-09 08:44
That noted liberal, T. Boone Pickens, said if Raygun had continuted the Carter policies on energy and the enviroment, we wouldn't be in such a mess now. (Fron his book "The First Billion is the Hardest."
 
 
+13 # lark3650 2012-02-09 08:48
I remember Ronald Reagan saying he was going to Washington to learn politics and he came away being a politician. What better puppet president could you have than a actor who knows how to play a role. Evil? no A puppet with his strings pulled by others? yes
 
 
+31 # artic fox 2012-02-09 08:49
See Prof.Edmund Pries' article 8/11/12 in (Toronto)Star:
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1038961--apocalyptic-crisis-budgeting .
If not available here's an excerpt:
QUOTE:
During the Reagan era, a friend and former colleague, a professor of American history, was invited to the deliberations of a Washington think-tank that provided policy direction for the Republican Party. As they discussed growing the debt and increasing the deficit, he was flabbergasted: “Are you not the party of balanced budgets and debt elimination?” The reply was unequivocal, “Our goal is to grow the deficit as much as possible in order to create political space to eliminate government-fund ed programming. Until then, we want high deficits while lobbying for a balanced budget — and promoting social program cuts as the only solution.”

To create this useful deficit, tax cuts to wealthy individuals and corporate sectors would be dramatically increased, especially to the banking, energy and military segments. In short, one would implement a transfer of the state’s revenue supply obligations from the wealthiest to the poor and middle classes in order to permit an even greater transfer of wealth from the middle classes to the rich thereafter.

The only trick was to convince the poor and middle classes to “buy in” via a mixture of patriotism and structural necessity so that they would vote in favour of cutting the very programs that benefited them.
 
 
+5 # Observer 47 2012-02-10 09:32
Thanks very much for providing the link to the Toronto Star article, artic fox. VERY interesting reading! Too bad it isn't mandatory reading for every voter.
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2012-02-11 16:36
This was so poetically described by Grover Norquist- "We're going to starve the government down to the size where we can drown in in the bathtub."
 
 
+16 # Jane Gilgun 2012-02-09 09:37
Well said. Regan did present a happy face on policies and ideologies that are selfish and destructive. He brought out the worst in people. Those who propped him up knew exactly what they were doing. They changed America to inflate their own egos and pocketbooks. Power at any cost is their motto and the hell with everyone else.
 
 
+11 # Jane Gilgun 2012-02-09 09:44
Then Reagan died and left a terrible legacy for the rest of us. The 1% are the direct beneficaries of his terrible polices. Most of those who shared his bigotry did not profit. Their bigotry trumped their own self-interest, not to mention (un)common decency.
 
 
+31 # bugbuster 2012-02-09 09:51
One of his earliest acts as President, busting the air traffic controllers' union, made it clear to me that Ronald Reagan was an enemy of the people. I haven't changed my mind.

It wasn't long after Bonzo's reign began that we began to see more and more homeless people in our state, home to no military contractors. Federal money was taken out of almost everything but military spending.

Ronald Reagan was one thing and one thing only, and he had only one purpose: a shill for the military industrial complex charged with funneling the nation's wealth into the coffers of the military contractors. The rest was tasteless window dressing.
 
 
+26 # stonecutter 2012-02-09 09:57
[@ martinfre

"and (Reagan) restored the notion that we can be the shining city on the hill."

R U still here, trolling around with your right-wing talking points blather. Yeah, we're really a "shining city"--in DEATH VALLEY, way below sea level, Ronnie's old backdrop when he was pitching 20-Mule Team Borax. Thanks to your hero and his spawn, 41 and 43, the "shining city", a rotten piece of Hollywood dialogue if I ever heard one, might as well be Fukishima after the earthquake.

Are you one of the dimwits that showed up in that recent scientific study about conservatives being morons, or is it morons being conservative?
 
 
-47 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 12:39
Reagan was absolutely correct that if you cut taxes the economy will grow.

Sadly he compromised with the democrats on government spending and it grew even faster -- tis nice to be liberal with other peoples money.

Tear Down that WALL!
 
 
+10 # Observer 47 2012-02-10 09:37
How can you possibly assert that lower taxes leads to economic growth, when the empirical evidence of the last three decades overwhelming asserts the contrary? What you are claiming is simply a mathematical impossibility.
 
 
-45 # Martintfre 2012-02-09 12:41
NO government in history has ever tax and spent their way to prosperity -- Reagan was correct there too.
 
 
+11 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-09 13:56
Good gracious, chum. The 16th Amendment was enacted in 1913. Surely we have not gone downhill since then. I thought it was only the godless, atheistic Eleanor Roosevelt and her socialist husband who destroyed your individual rights ... or perhaps it was that 15th Amendment. Jeepers, and I thought Ronnie's Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered taxes on the upper income folks but raised it on the middle class. Then there was that TEFRA thing in '82 - supposedly the largest peacetime tax increase in history ... I'm just sayin'.
 
 
-16 # Martintfre 2012-02-10 06:49
BEfore the 16th amendment (Income tax) and before the FED's magical printing press we as a nation could not afford to get involved in global wars or play global policeman - now that we can tax individuals and print unlimited currency we can play worlds policeman and spend unlimited money .. for a while.

I bet my $50,000,000,000 ,000 Zimbabwe note that we can't do it much longer.
 
 
+10 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-10 10:01
There were no "global" wars before 1913. Our robber baron class was still sucking up local opportunities with 5-10 mile wide swaths of land along meandering railroad tracks and celebrating their 99 year $1/per acre oil leases. BIG banking grew from 'investing' that 'free' money. BOTH $1 per acre for a 99 year lease AND 10 miles of land free along both sides of each mile of track are a pretty "FREE" resource that was granted them from OUR government, OUR resources!! "Big Government" wasn't 'baling them out'. It was 'shoveling' them UP. With transportation and oil under control, our financial leaders could 'politic' into war profiteering, though, often, it appeared they differed over which side to join, selling to both until public opinion forced a choice.
Between the two "Great" World Wars the 1% financial community offered us the gambling con that most Americans know as "public ownership of the means of production", the Stock Market (place your bets! the House will always win! and your "vote" as a shareholder" will NEVER counts - gotcha!!).
Big Government, with a human face, was the emergency solution to the Great Depression nightmare that investing on 'credit' allowed.
The 1%, by any mean-from buying the government and media to propagandizing emotional divisions between citizens-monopo lizes everything. What you still own, they can take from you if you stray from a very narrow path. If they don't have enough of YOUR money, THEIR FED will print more for them.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 17:00
Quoting Martintfre:
NO government in history has ever tax and spent their way to prosperity -- Reagan was correct there too.

Whether you are right or not, Reagan had about as much of a sense or knowledge of history as Pinnochio.
 
 
+11 # thucydides 2012-02-09 10:32
Since their ideals align so closely with those of the flat earth society,perhaps they should apply for a constitutional waiver and approach Terry Pratchett to be their standard bearer.
 
 
+16 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-09 12:20
It is important to remember that two provisions of Ronnie's 'tax reform' were designed to make sure the middle class carried the nation's cost burdens.
First: Carter had strengthen the 10% IRS investment tax credit for capital purchasers (equipment, facilities). It produced significant economic growth as small business and farmers could shelter TAXES rather than income while improving productivity. Just like big business, the little guy could come away with new and better stuff and not have to pay near as much tax.
Second: As a housing stimulus 'double declining depreciation' was allowed as a policy to increase new and renovated housing stock for lower income wage earners. Increased housing investments by middle income wage earners, enhanced renovation in blighted neighborhoods, provided more livable housing AND lowered taxes by increasing middle class tax deductions by more than expenditures.
BOTH were killed by the "reform", transferring the tax burden BACK to the middle class.
NO HERO, just some movie poster president .. two dimensions, lacking both heart and brain, waiting for makeup and a script.
 
 
+25 # dr.david 2012-02-09 12:52
I thought he might be the worst President in U.S. history, until "W" came along.
 
 
+18 # ganymede 2012-02-09 13:09
Great piece, Mr Pierce. When you turn this into a book, it will become a bestseller. For sure, Reagan doesn't deserve his glowing reputation by the rightwingers and time will straighten this out. But I can't help thinking as one or two commentators have pointed out, that the responsibility for the mess we're in rests more with the electorate than with fools and criminals like Reagan and the Bushes. What kind of democracy do we have when these fakers and charlatans get the money to buy the elections, and succeed because of the ignorance of so many Americans. We see this going on with the Republican primaries where a lot of money is influencing the stupidest of the stupid rightwing voters, except this time they won't succeed, and we will have one last chance to save this country by getting Obama back for a second term This time, though, we will put a huge bonfire under Obama's ass to get him to FDR these rightwing losers.
 
 
+7 # lincolnimp 2012-02-09 16:03
Quoting ganymede:
and we will have one last chance to save this country by getting Obama back for a second term This time, though, we will put a huge bonfire under Obama's ass to get him to FDR these rightwing losers.

Oh, yes, Ganymede...may it be so!
 
 
+8 # Observer 47 2012-02-10 09:46
I might point out, ganymede, that despite the fact that the majority of the voting population is, in fact, uninformed or wrongly informed, they did elect Al Gore and John Kerry. Bush II did not get two terms at 1600 because of voter ignorance, but rather, because those backing him were able to rig the vote-counting process. However, it's true that if more voters knew what was going on with the voting process itself, we surely wouldn't have had to suffer through 8 years of Dubya.
 
 
+13 # Sensible1 2012-02-09 13:22
RR was a ruthless politician and heartless person. Not the kind of guy you would want to have a drink with. I figure him to be a mean drunk who might turn against you at a whim. The iconic creation of Republican fantasy, who likened himself to a saint for which God would part the storm clouds for and shine rays of sun down on him from a clear blue sky. A president who slept through a one of those creative wars the Republicans are so famous for. Ironically, his diseased brain may not even known what he hath wrought.
 
 
+20 # Billy Bob 2012-02-09 14:19
So good to see martinfre and "the robbed eagle" tag teaming to give us the pro-reagan perspective. They're like firefighters, and facts are the fires that need to be put out.

What's great is that, by defending him, they're being pounced on by people with better memories. It's good for all of us to have them challenge us by repeating the phony history the MSM wants us to buy. It gives us an opening to point out how full of b.s. they are.

Thanks for furthering the point of the article "marty the freedom lover", and "the robbed eagle".
 
 
+8 # Billy Bob 2012-02-09 16:37
Think of them as commentary speed bags.
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2012-02-09 17:09
Quoting Billy Bob:
So good to see martinfre and "the robbed eagle" tag teaming to give us the pro-reagan perspective. They're like firefighters, and facts are the fires that need to be put out.

What's great is that, by defending him, they're being pounced on by people with better memories. It's good for all of us to have them challenge us by repeating the phony history the MSM wants us to buy. It gives us an opening to point out how full of b.s. they are.

Thanks for furthering the point of the article "marty the freedom lover", and "the robbed eagle".

Actually, I quite enjoy "Martinfire's" fairly combative and occasionally pungently instructive posts. At least he is a freedom seeker like me albeit by a different route. I've decided to ignore the Rob-ot as a hopeless case and perhaps a plant by FOX (I've yet to receive a reply to my two-way press-access street or pretty much else). Perhaps he doth presume from his lofty but o'-so-predictab le blinkered peak, to instruct us on the progressive end how HIS world works for he alone, without any justification nor rationale. ("Greed is good" is a very revealing phrase). Pretty miserably-const ricted cipher methinks who should go to his room and remove the truss.
 
 
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-02-09 17:43
Nice Witch Hunt...for Lord's Sake he is dead, was brain dead when he was president.
Now for all I read, hear, I ask where were you all at voting time? Where were you all when he was closing down jobs and Unions? I know I was marching against him.
I know who voted for him...the parents of asses who voted in GW. We had a chance to clean house with first a term ReaGun but no let's not. then got Pappa CIA WMD DRUG/ARMS Dealer in. Years later GW???? Now look at the pickins..do you realize what we look like and do not care. The hierarchy everywhere is laughing at us. They allow cute wars of independence so you all believe in OB again.(no bodies to prove anyone is dead) Amazing rescues by our Military when they please to do so. Think of how many people could have been saved
I am reckoning that many are twenty or less because otherwise with all your Political Prowess I would like to know how the USA got this way. I know thousands of people in NE that were fighting to keep them out, doing more than that for Environment, Social and Animal rights, we still are.
All I see here are words, lots of them. No Action, like I said Believe 1% of all who sign in ever even sent a dollar to OWS no less walked with them.

ReaGun was brain dead, I would love those medical records but AMA burned them. Time to cut the strings. Not gonna happen while sitting on a computer. Join or die, that will be World's choice.
 
 
+4 # edwin_ 2012-02-09 18:18
[quote name="Kittatiny Hawk"]... I ask where were you all at voting time?


My dopey sister-in-law voted for him because she felt that he was a fatherly figure.. He was also one of the first of the Jerry Falwell social conservative politicans to talk the anti-choice agenda
 
 
+3 # Observer 47 2012-02-10 09:56
Kittatinyhawk, see my post above. GW was never elected to office. The voters do NOT decide who sits in the White House, so railing against the ignorant electorate as the source of bad leadership is moot.

And again, will you please cease the rants about "all words and no actions." You have no idea what any other poster on this forum does, in terms of actions. If you are busy marching, protesting, walking with OWS, and so on, and still have time to read and write posts, perhaps others do, too. OWS, while one of the best things that's happened in this country in years, is nevertheless not the only vehicle for change.
 
 
+7 # Seneca 2012-02-09 20:59
And let us not forget that his administration gutted funding for mental health and thus forced MILLIONS of mentally challenged Americans into the streets. When you see a homeless person pushing a cart and talking to her/himself, you can thank Reagan for that.
 
 
-8 # judgeroybean 2012-02-09 22:04
Wasn't Reagan the president who gave an amnesty to 3 million illegals? Far from promoting racism against "illegals" (note the scare quotes in the article), Reagan abetted the flood of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. This was done for several reasons. One was that there was a genuinely revolutionary situation throughout much of Central America in the 1980s, in part due to overpopulation; by allowing illegal aliens to come to the US and remit funds back home, the revolutionary tendency was blunted (of course, there were also massacres by psychopaths like d'Aubuisson and Rios Montt). And allowing illegal aliens to pour in also weakened domestic labor, and provided Republican small, medium and big business with a huge pool of cheap, non-unionized labor.

The author somehow thinks distinguishing between citizens and non-citizens is illegitimate. That is just what the Reaganites want people to believe - that an endless number of illegal aliens should be allowed to pour into this country, and drive down wages and the rest for US citizens while remitting money to prop up the corrupt oligarchies to the south. When is the left going to remove its head from its rectum about this issue? You cannot have a viable welfare state and a unionized workforce at home with porous borders, across which millions of illegal aliens are pouring. It is just plain economics, and plain common sense.
 
 
+6 # hd70642 2012-02-11 04:22
It was NAFTA that took away the livelihood of Mexican farmers. So now their the bad guys because they are willing to work cheaper because their lively hood was undersold by US subsidized produce. Remember Reagan also supported many a right wing dictatorship in central America since they were friendly to the corporate world such as disallowing labor unions and no enviromental or labor laws
 
 
+2 # judgeroybean 2012-02-11 11:41
My comment was on the article, which claims that Reagan's animus to the poor is similar to the animus towards illegal aliens today. This is a completely unwarranted claim. The average citizen in this country has a perfectly justified right to see that the borders are enforced and people illegally in this country are deported. Look at public opinion polls. This is the view not only of GOP voters but also of Democrats and Independents. The group that is most opposed to illegal immigration is in fact African-America ns, because they see how it is putting them in economic competition for reduced wages. As for NAFTA and all that, that is an entirely separate matter. We had illegal immigration in the 1980s, an amnesty was passed under Reagan in 1987, and we were promised enforcement going forward. The money for enforcement was in fact cut off by the Democratic Senate, at the instigation of Ted Kennedy. But Republican business leaders, small and big, also love illegal immigration, because it undermines the welfare state and unions and the rest. The people who suffer are the average US citizen, particularly those without skills, who have to compete. And the overcrowding of hospitals and schools, and the other pressure on the social safety net, is bad for anyone who depends on these services. Opposition to illegal immigration is not racist bias; it is common sense, based on the obvious negative economic consequences.
 
 
0 # judgeroybean 2012-02-11 13:22
BTW, you mention NAFTA. NAFTA was an agreement that was voluntarily entered into by the Mexican government. Under the terms of NAFTA, Mexico was given a grace period of several years to modernize its agriculture so that the negative effects of the agreement would be mitigated. The Mexican government stated at the time that it would do so, but in the end it did NOTHING. It just left its own citizens at the mercy of more competitive US agriculture when the tariffs protecting Mexico's farmers were phased out. Who is at fault there? The well-being of Mexico's population is the responsibility of the Mexican government, not our government.

On the other hand, when NAFTA was passed, people like Clinton and Gore promised US citizens that the treaty would REDUCE illegal immigration by raising living standards in Mexico. We can see in retrospect what a callous lie that was.

Bottom line: Every country in the world, Mexico included, enforces its borders. It does so because its citizens want and expect it, and it is part and parcel of international law. And US citizens have every right to expect that the our borders will be enforced too. People on the left like to call this racism, but it is just one more sign of how the left is completely out of touch with popular sentiment in this country, and resorts in knee-jerk fashion to bad faith charges like racism (like the author of the above article), whose only purpose is to end debate and discussion.
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2012-02-11 17:11
Who are we to call another country a "corrupt oligarchy?" We have no moral standing on anything anymore.

Also, you're a bit behind the times-there was NO NET IMMIGRATION this year.

I've been saying for years that "we'll know the Republicans have gotten their way when the border patrol is on the Mexican side shooting at us as we try to go south."

We're almost there!
 
 
+1 # Activista 2012-02-11 21:17
I am going down to Baja - to get my teeth fixed and help with nature conservation.
Older Americans are leaving - can NOT afford US doctors.
 
 
-1 # judgeroybean 2012-02-12 06:52
You are simply wrong about "no net immigration". Do you ever watch the TV news? Or read the papers? There was just a spate of stories about how the Coast Guard in California is having to patrol as far north as Malibu because illegal aliens and drug traffickers are landing people on the unguarded coast there because border enforcement is finally starting to bite.

Another thing - We get about 3 million people coming here on tourist visas each year. And 30% of them do not go home. That has not changed one bit in recent years. And that means almost 1 million more people are coming in illegally through visa overstays, each and every year.

As for calling Mexico and Guatemala and the rest corrupt oligarchies, it is just a fact. 95% of the wealth of those countries is owned by less than 1% of the population. And they are solving their domestic poverty problem by dumping it on us.

The left is a wonder to me. You people talk about how the US cannot be the world's policeman, but you seem to think that it can be the world's welfare agency. Well, have a look at a public opinion poll. 65% of Americans say "Enforce current law" and "No more amnesties". And it is not racist to say it. The majority does not want to import more poverty, period.
 
 
+6 # RMDC 2012-02-10 02:18
Reagan began the Republican strategy of puppet presidents. Someone already mentioned that he was a puppet of George HW Bush and that is true. He was a puppet of the American fascist movement. He began his political career as a snitch for the FBI and McCarthy's communist witch hunt.
 
 
-14 # Martintfre 2012-02-10 05:23
Reagan was mediocre to good as far as presidents go.

HE got it right that government is the problem not the solution - but then he turned around a fueled the same problem to massively new heights of deficit and ultimately debt - only in Reagan's first year was the deficit less then all 4 years of Carter combined.
The debt tripped over the trillion mark during his administration and has never looked back.

The problem with compromise's like Reagan and essentially the rest is
both sides have bad ideas that won't and should not pass on their own - dems pushing the welfare state - repubs pushing the war fare state. We can't afford either one - yet they compromise and we get both. What is the debt now? 15+ trillion.

We can't fund all of our promises now.
How sound Are the untouchable programs like Social security Medicare Medicaid that Reagan 'fixed'-- they are not.
 
 
+11 # Observer 47 2012-02-10 10:01
Actually, Social Security and Medicare are in decent shape, and will continue to be that way for the next 25 years if no changes are made. It's the Rethug propagandists who'd have you think otherwise. Social Security, in particular, would remain rock-solid in perpetuity if the coffers weren't continually robbed to support wars, and if the ceiling was removed on the amount of income eligible for S.S. deductions.
 
 
+12 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-10 10:05
Government is the SOLUTION OF LAST RESORT when public issues cannot or will not be addressed privately. Its job is NOT to create problems, but to find solutions that represent the best (possible) interests of ALL of us. It does not exist to make a PROFIT! Government 'represents' our collective will in action ... or should!
 
 
+7 # Bruce Gruber 2012-02-10 10:26
There are NOT two sides to America. There is "one nation" comprised of many different people and ideas trying, in a civilized manned, to come to agreement over issues and priorities that affect each of us differently. We treat politics, the process by which we compromise our differences, like a contest of wills. As Obama made clear in his books, that process of compromise is the unique and necessary condition to make 'governing' work.

The political process has been turned into a Friday Night "Winner Take All" football title game with cheerleaders, steroid enhanced athletes and bribed umpires and field judges. Our interests and needs have been hyped by those who promote the game, lease us the field, sell us the tickets and concessions and, then, ask us for donations for the "team". Our "welfare" rests on whether we consider only ourselves or whether we consider US to mean ALL of us, you, me and ALL of 'them'. That debate is where each of us need to address our own personal wishes, feelings and true beliefs.
 
 
+4 # dregstudios 2012-02-10 15:53
Reagan has a legacy so distorted by the Conservative idolization of him that we may never have a clear picture of the real man behind the television set beyond the elaborate myth now concocted around him. Did he really rid the world of commie scum? Did destroy or save our economy? Check out my portrait of The Gipper in commemoration of the Reagan Centennial and help me figure it out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-100th-gipper.html
 
 
+6 # pernsey 2012-02-10 18:16
Reagan was horrible, the right wing feels it can re-write history by saying this man was more then he ever really was. Reagan lost most of his faculties and was a right wing nut job shill, just like G W Bush was. A brainless idiot used to push as much lunacy through as he could. Reagan was the first puppet and Bush was the second, mindless puppets thats all either of them were. Saying anything else is being dishonest to yourself and to history!
 
 
+3 # hd70642 2012-02-11 04:10
It is not just meansprited for the well off to decry the less fortunate as lazy and unwilling to work but delusional. Just to survive folks are working every hour they can muster and working multiple jobs .
What Reagan ment to me was college assistance being slashed and minimun wage not keeping up with inflation thus disabling a vital means of social mobility . Also the very conservatives who mock an adult for living with their folks applauded the cutting of section eight housing .
It is true conservatism can not blamed for everything such as what sabotaged education was not just conservative idealogy such as slashing funds and creationism but social promotion and the evils of PMA(posistive mental atttitude). Unlike conservatives however most liberals learn from their mistakes and acknowledge them . Funding for tutoring and summer school should be restored along incresed standards for educational . Tax cuts deregulation gutting the safety net has only put this nation deeper into third world status and has not even produced anyone of a higher intellectual ability as promised by the social darwinist
 
 
+3 # hd70642 2012-02-11 06:48
It is not just meansprited for the well off to decry the less fortunate as lazy and unwilling to work but delusional. Just to survive folks are working every hour they can muster and working multiple jobs .
What Reagan ment to me was college assistance being slashed and minimun wage not keeping up with inflation thus disabling a vital means of social mobility . Also the very conservatives who mock an adult for living with their folks applauded the cutting of section eight housing .
It is true conservatism can not blamed for everything such as what sabotaged education was not just conservative idealogy such as slashing funds and creationism but social promotion and the evils of PMA(posistive mental atttitude). Unlike conservatives however most liberals learn from their mistakes and acknowledge them . Funding for tutoring and summer school should be restored along incresed standards for educational . Tax cuts deregulation gutting the safety net has only put this nation deeper into third world status and has not even produced anyone of a higher intellectual ability as promised by the social darwinist . Idealism and elitism are bad enough alone but when combined equal calamity with compound interest .Reagan's idealism of the elites has brought nothing but calamity with compond interest by the second since his disasterous adminstration
 
 
+4 # MerdeDisturber 2012-02-11 17:52
And let's not forget RR's great contributions to the advancement of science, in the great Re-pube-lican tradition. Upon taking the oath of office, he immediately set upon reversing the U.S.'s much needed transition to the Metric System, begun under Carter. Road "mileage" signs, that the DOT had been issuing in dual "Mi" and "Km" numbers, were removed from highways. Gasoline, milk and dairy products, soft drinks, and other liquids that were showing both Oz, Pts, Qrts, etc. and Ml./Ltr. were done away with. The only remnants remaining today are booze (wine & liquor) bottles. Ronnie Wrongan also set the stage for the intense anti-science bias of the subsequent Bushies. His appointment of James "Why Not" Watt to oversee the rape of the public forests and lands at the expense of, and ignoring of, environmental consequences was the precursor to the Re-pube's ongoing rejection of Global Climate Change hypotheses. His FDA appointments, and directives thereto, allowed Big Tobacco to run rampant, escaping and evading any liability/respo nsibility for their scientifically proven, many times over, culpability for the poisoning of millions, deaths of many 100,000's. His administration, through Dept. of Agriculture, even increased crop subsidies to tobacco farmers, while simultaneously launching drug dragnets, and airhead Nancy's "Just Say No!" campaign of laughable impact. Yes, Ronnie set the precedent for flat-earthers and Religious Wrong ostriches, species now prevalent.
 
 
+3 # Activista 2012-02-11 21:21
"Mars 1962A was a Mars fly-by mission, launched on October 24, 1962 and Mars 1962B a .... Mars Climate Orbiter is infamous for Lockheed Martin engineers mixing up the usage of English units with metric units, causing the orbiter to burn up ..."
thank you Ronnie Stupid
 

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