The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Quondam View to the Past, Series II: Ronald Wilson Reagan's Legacy Part II

Hard not to like, but do not feed me the B/S!

Part II: Changed Washington D.C.

Ronald Reagan's legacy has clearly benefited from the very same level of cognitive minutia that once propelled a former (half-term) governor to celebrity and riches. The very same shallowness that has right-wing pundits mentioning the name of South Dakota's Thune because he is an "attractive candidate".  Yes, of course, one's appearance and looks are a critical criteria for the presidency (What a farce! One has to "look presidential".), Thus, the forgotten Ford and Carter Administrations.  I guess they just did not have the look. 

Despite my compliments for appointing Sandra Day O'Connor to the SCOTUS, I join many writers and historians who are not painting Mr. Republican as a sterling example of truly American Values. I assert American Values should not be, and are not, represented by the following sets of information garnered from a quick set of Google and World Web Web queries. I do agree with the former (half-term) governor that Reagan's Values are sterling examples of conservative values, as those values manifest in our society. And, that is a shame!


IRAQ-GATE: Chemical Weapons Technology for Saddam Hussein 

On August 18, 2002, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, "Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas". Quoting anonymous US "senior military officers", the NYT "revealed" that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided "critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war". 

IRAN/CONTRA (Sold Arms to Iran for release of hostages and to fund the RIGHT-wing Contras in Nicaragua)

Iran Contra Affair (information in partnership with Wiki)
The most well known and politically damaging of the scandals came to light in November 1986, when Ronald Reagan conceded that the United States had sold weapons to the revolutionary government of the Shah of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, as part of a largely unsuccessful effort to secure the release of 52 Americans being held hostage. It was also disclosed that some of the money from the arms deal with Iran had been covertly and illegally funneled into a fund to aid the right wing Contras revolutionary groups seeking to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. 

The Iran-contra scandal as it became known, did serious damage to the Reagan presidency. The investigations were effectively halted when President George H. W. Bush (Reagan's vice president) pardoned Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger before his trial began.[2]

(AH, that made me feel better!  He really was a 'feel good kind-of-a-guy', eh?)


(The link provides information related to the extent of convictions related to each of the following Reagan Administration criminal acts (during his terms in office). some scandals were perpetrated by Democrats not affiliated with the Reagan Administration. The central focus of this Part of the  Series is "Changing Washington D.C".   Evidence indicates Reagan did not change D.C and many there were many scandals during his term in office. None of which was was Reagan personally involved.)

Department of Housing and Urban Development grant rigging
The HUD rigging scandal consisted of Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce and his associates rigging low income housing bids to favor Republican contributors to Reagan's campaign as well as rewarding Republican lobbyists such as James G. Watt a former Secretary of the Interior.[11] 

Sixteen convictions were eventually handed down. 
Lobbying scandal
When an administration staff member leaves office, federal law governs how quickly one can begin a lobbying career.

EPA scandals
A number of scandals occurred at the Environmental Protection Agency during the Reagan Administration. Over twenty high-level EPA employees were removed from office during Reagan's first three years as president.[20] Additionally, several Agency officials resigned amidst a variety of charges, ranging from being unduly influenced by industry groups to rewarding or punishing employees based on their political beliefs.[21] Sewergate, the most prominent EPA scandal during this period, involved the targeted release of Superfund grants to enhance the election prospects of local officials aligned with the Republican Party.

Inslaw Affair (gopherhole)
Inslaw Affair (1985-1994+); a protracted legal case that alleged that top-level officials of President Ronald Reagan's (R) Department of Justice were involved in software piracy of the Promis program from Inslaw Inc. forcing it into bankruptcy and then failed to appoint an independent counsel to investigate it.[24]

Savings &Loan Crisis (Wiki)
Savings and loan crisis in which 747 institutions failed and had to be rescued with $160 billion of taxpayer monies.[28] Reagan's "elimination of loopholes" in the tax code included the elimination of the "passive loss" provisions that subsidized rental housing. Because this was removed retroactively, it bankrupted many real estate developments which used this tax break as a premise, which in turn bankrupted 747 Savings and Loans, many of whom were operating, more or less, as banks, thus requiring the FDIC to cover their debts and losses with tax payer money. This with some other "deregulation" policies, ultimately led to the largest political and financial scandal in U.S. history to that date. The Savings and Loan crisis. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around USDKeating Five.

Reagan Killed the Soviet Union
I will bring Part II of the Quondam View to a close after the next two linked articles.  The issue of Reagan's impact on the collapse of the Soviet Union is probably the single most notable reason that some may feel he was the greatest president ever. The following links provide a thorough examination of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The authors postulate that Reagan benefited based on the timing of his administration. The Soviet Union had eaten itself alive from the inside out and economic collapse was imminent. Leaders of the Soviet Union may very well have worked closely with any American president to facilitate peace treaties and concessions prior to the inevitable downfall.

Let's not overlook the much lauded 'Tax cuts'.

REAGAN CUT TAXES  (cut taxes early in first term then raised taxes 11 times)

As a matter of reality, if one simply accepts the 'feel good' legacy of Ronald Reagan, it could provide a safe heaven. A safe haven for those who need to grasp a 'false perception' of American conservatism.  If Ronald Reagan was a 1980s model for those who currently aspire to the Oval Office, there is something existentially pretentious about life as a GOP presidential candidate. 

Yet, if one can cloak themselves like a Chameleon, it is easy to devour the uninformed and the susceptible.

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