Monday, February 27, 2012

I am not a crook


On November 17, 1973, former President Richard Nixon met with the press, and disavowed any prior knowledge of the Watergate burglary, and insisted that he had not broken any laws. His “I am not a crook” speech is arguably one of the best known Presidential speeches in history.

His 1973 meeting with the press brings to mind his “Checkers” speech from 1952

Although the clip of his 1952 speech is a rather long 13 minutes, I’d recommend watching it in its entirety. It’s absolutely astonishing how much personal financial information that he provided to the public, and I have to admit that I definitely would have voted for him if I had been a registered voter in 1952.

Nixon certainly had his faults, and he deserved to be removed from office because of them, but he actually DID accomplish a lot things when he was in office. One of his most noteworthy accomplishments was the establishment (in 1970) of the Environmental Protection Agency which the current crop of Republican candidates would like to dismantle.

Truth be told, though, the biggest crook that we’ve ever had as President is the man pictured below:

George W. initially came to office in the year 2000, in spite of the fact that he had lost the popular vote to Al Gore by almost 500,000 votes. We’re all familiar with the “hanging shards”, which led to a recount vote in several Florida precincts, but you’re probably not familiar with a study done three years later by the National Research Opinion Poll three years at the University of Chicago that concluded that Al Gore had actually won the state of Florida, which would have given him the Presidency.

The study by the National Research Opinion Poll analyzed a total of 175,000 ballots from the entire state of Florida, and not just the counties that went through a recount in 2000. The fact that Bush won the Presidency in a state where his brother Jeb was governor seems to imply that there HAD to be some skullduggery involved,

You can use whatever source that you want to analyze this election, but I’ve found the Wikipedia is generally an informative and (more importantly) neutral source when researching just about anything. The comments made under the heading “Florida recount” highlight how the election reporting by the news media, as well as meddling by the REPUBLICAN Secretary of State Katherine Harris, distorted the voting in Florida, and ultimately gave Bush the electoral votes he needed to win the election.

Changes were made after the election (primarily in the expanded use of electronic voting machines) to ensure that future elections would be more accurate, and many people gave a sigh of relief.

Then came 2004.

Incredibly, the 2004 election results were even MORE distorted than the 2000 election. In this election, the deciding state was Ohio. In Ohio, the REPUBLICAN Secretary of State served as both the Chief Elections Official of Ohio AND the honorary co-chair of the “committee to re-elect George Bush”.

As a result of the dual roles that he served, there were at least SIXTEEN lawsuits filed to protest his obvious conflict of interest.

Voter fraud in this election was much worse than it was in the 2000 election, and the “points of controversy” section of the link above provides more DETAILED information:

Three years after the election, two Ohio election officials were convicted of voter fraud by juries because they had provided inaccurate recount results.

By now, you’d think the American people would be on to these guys, but the Republicans CONTINUED to attempt to manipulate voting results in the 2008 election.. This time, the details are covered under “controversies” in the Wikipedia article.

In 2008, the manipulation of voter turnout didn’t work as planned, and the Republicans lost the Presidency. However, if John McCain hadn’t picked Sarah Palin (open mouth, insert foot) as his running mate, it’s likely that the final voting results would have been closer.

Sarah Palin, incidentally, may have been clueless about the details of the "Bush doctrine", but she certainly understands "cowboy diplomacy".

In the fall of 2010, the inmates finally got control of the asylum, and the Tea Party candidates found enough voters who were discouraged by the slow (in their estimation) recovery of the economy to swing the balance of power. The shift of balance of power at the Federal level led to gridlock in the first year of the 112th Congress, and led to (at the state level) the passage of more restrictive voting laws in at least twelve states.

In an effort "to reduce voter fraud", the Republican legislators passed legislation that made it more difficult for minorities to vote. Minorities, incidentally, are far more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than for Republican ones.

In order to ensure that future elections will be as fair as possible, Attorney General Eric Holder announced in December that the Justice Department would be aggressively examining the new voting laws to make sure that the rights of the minorities in the next Presidential election would not be compromised.

Although I avoid discussing politics and religion at work, I recently asked a co-worker what political party that he favored, and he told me “Republican”. He quickly added that he really didn’t care WHICH party won, since it didn’t make that much difference to him.

Unfortunately, who we vote for makes an ENORMOUS difference in the direction that our country is headed.

When George W. Bush first assumed office, the National Debt was $5.64 trillion. When he left office, the national debt had nearly DOUBLED, to a touch over $10 trillion. In addition, our unilateral invasion of Iraq in 2003 has cost us 4800 lives (so far) and approximately $700 billion. There’s no question that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous thug, but the events of the Arab Spring, and the forcible removal of Muammar Gaddafi (neither of which cost us very much in either dollars or lives) is proof that we could have handled Iraq in a much more intelligent manner.

At this point, all that I can add about George W. Bush is this:

good riddance

As you’ve read through the paragraphs above, you’ll have noticed a nasty trend. At one time, Republicans and Democrats worked together for the good of the country, but the Grand Old Party has been taken hostage by right wing extremists and special interest groups. Fortunately, there is a cure. Before I get to the cure, though, you’ll need a little background information:

1) The American Party, also known as the “know nothing” party, nominated former President Millard Fillmore as their Presidential candidate in 1856. When he carried only ONE state in the Presidential election, the party disbanded, and most of the members moved to the newly formed REPUBLICAN party.

2) In November of 2011, Reince Priebus (the Republican National Committee leader) gave a talk at the University of Chicago where he stated “a fish rots at the head”, implying that President Obama should be defeated because he had failed on his promise to fix the economy.

3) the current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, once sent a dead fish to a pollster who he found irritating.

As Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “the rest of the story”:

Since the current leadership of the Republican Party is as much out of touch with reality as the American Party was in 1856, it's not inconceivable that the party could cease to exist at some point in the future.

(Two quick examples of this are the recent debates about immigration, and President Obama's address to the UAW on February 28 of this week.)

For now, though, the best approach is to SEND A MESSAGE to the leaders of the party and vote a STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET for the next couple of elections,

The other message that I’d love to see happen is that at least ONE person would send Reince Priebus a dead fish in a box, with a note inside that read “the fish rots at the head.”

His address is:

Republican National Committee
310 First Street S.E.
Washington, D.C 20003

His phone number is 202-863-8700

Less than a week ago, President Obama announced that two of his former chiefs of staff, Bill Daley and Rahm Emanuel, would be campaign co-chairmen of his re-election committee. In case you’ve forgotten, both Daley and Emanuel are natives of the Chicago area, and Obama still owns a home in the Hyde Park area of Chicago.

Regardless of which “dynamic duo” the Republican Party chooses as their candidates at their convention in Tampa in August, they’ll quickly learn the lesson that countless unsavory characters have learned over the years:

“don’t mess with the boys from Chicago”.


  1. Have you visited the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California? Go stuff online too.

    Also add to your reading list, "Real Peace, A Strategy for the West", by Richard Nixon.

    I voted for Nixon in 1968 and 72. Not a popular thing to admit to my friends then or now. George the 1st is the last Republican I voted for any office, 1988.

    1. Dave:

      I voted for Humphrey in 1968 and McGovern in 1972. I'm reasonably certain that I voted for George H.W. Bush in 1988, and I still think that he was the best man in that election. However, I made the mistake of voting for his son George W. TWICE, which I'll always regret.

      I've never been to Yorba Linda, but would like to do so some day.

      I'll also add his book to my reading list.