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READER COMMENTS ON
(40 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/6/2004 @ 7:29 am PT...
Thanks Brad! Those of us born in 1959 and in 1960 like myself, the 1980 elections were the first time we could vote in a presidential election. As a Southern Baptist, I had high hopes for Jimmy Carter. Yet, by the time the late 70s got here, I remember long gas lines, inflation in the double digits, interest rates in the double digits, and hostages in Iran. In college in 1980, I worked with a bunch of Iranians who were very nervous of Reagan because they believed he would actually attack Iran if they did not let the hostages go. I was proud to vote for Reagan both times.
I remember friends of mine who bought homes between 13% and 16% interest in 1980. I bought my first home in 1986 at 8%. I also bought my first brand new car, my second brand new car, and my third brand new car. I believe that the rich got richer, the middle class got richer(me), and the poor got richer. I was always a big fan of Keynesian economics which was the Reagan model.
When Reagan was shot, a black girl I worked with was glad because she said that maybe Reagan would change his policies. I was shocked! I told her "You should never wish that anyone be shot."
I remember in the 1960s all of the warnings and drills we went through in case of a nuclear attack by the Soviets. I was in the Soviet Union in 1991 and shortly thereafter, the "Iron curtain" collapsed.
The failures of Carter and the inspiration and successes of Reagan led many of my Texas friends to change from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party. I have always said and will continue to say that “Reagan was one of he greatest presidents since Lincoln.”
Reagan was the oldest president elected, the oldest to live, won a second term by a landslide (49 out of 50 states), and left office with the highest approval rating.
It's easy to be negative! It's easy to follow the crowd. People have gotten rich writing books about being "positive." That is what we love about Reagan - his positivism, his inspiration, his patriotism, and his conservatism.
I look forward to visiting his library and grave some day, which means I will spend my money in California and it will trickle down.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/6/2004 @ 12:16 pm PT...
"I will spend my money in California and it will trickle down."
And I will fear international fanatical Muslim terrorism, hang my head in shame over Iraq, and laugh at the prospect of ever getting social security...all Reagan legacies as well.
I mourn for a great Patriot's death, but putting a legacy into context is more important than love fests.
Another great president, Eisenhower, had growth higher than during Reagan, with a upper tax rate of 88% shattering the idea that Keynes' theory is the only way to promote growth. Too bad trickle downers don't like to read or do research.
Of course you could tell me too shut my uppity mouth like the insensitive black girl.
I'll do you a favor and shut up and go eat my government approved ketchup.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/6/2004 @ 1:22 pm PT...
What Jaime said, is as usual right on the money. I fear for the blind idealogues like Paul (who can say without irony that "I believe that the rich got richer, the middle class got richer(me), and the poor got richer." during Reagan's, reign without any interest in the truth of the matter and how the poverty balooned during the period).
The idealogues, like Paul, will see, of course, only what they wish to see. The realists and the pragmatists, like Reagan and Jaime will understand and learn from the reality. Hopefully it'll be such realists and pragmatists like Reagan and Jaime who will lead us out of our current morasse and malaise instead of the discredited idealogues like Bush and Paul.
But I'll save the bulk of my thoughts for my next blog item...
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/6/2004 @ 3:09 pm PT...
Having Reagan and me in the same breath...I think ketchup is a vegetable too.
Heywood pointed out the Reagan Tribute and I wanted to also commend you Brad. He was a great man, regardless of how you felt about his politics. Also, I'll commend you on a well written site. We may share different beliefs, but I can respect you for researching and having substantial evidence for you're thoughts.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/6/2004 @ 5:53 pm PT...
Thanks for stopping by, Troll. And as well for the very nice words.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/7/2004 @ 12:00 pm PT...
> And I will fear international fanatical Muslim terrorism, hang my head in shame over Iraq, and laugh at the prospect of ever getting social security...all Reagan legacies as well
I fear nothing.
I am planning to be financially secure without Social Security.
To beat terrorism, you must destroy it, not appease it.
If you did not make money in the 80s and 90s or did not have a job, you were either lazy, on drugs, or sucking on the national nipple called welfare. Drugs and alcohol create poverty more than anything. There will always be poor people but the opportunities are here - you just gotta "seize the day!" You already get a free high school education! Sometimes you gotta blame yourself instead of blaming others.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/7/2004 @ 12:13 pm PT...
"To beat terrorism, you must destroy it, not appease it."
And yet Reagan, not only appeased but encouraged.
He am-scrayed from Beirut after getting hit. Turning tail and letting the terrorists know that America would not fight muslim extremists.
And further more, he aided and abetted by arming those same fundamentalists in Afghanistan.
I understand why it was done at the time (the theory was only the Commies had to be defeated). But in doing so, he helped *create* the very factions that are now at war with us.
As well, he aided and abetted Saddam during the same period, allowing - and in fact helping to finance the effort, give technical assistance, and turn total blind eyes to his known creation of WMD's during the period.
You can argue that he had good reason to do so. If you want. I may not agree. None the less, you could argue it.
However, it most undebatably means that he did not try to "defeat terrorism by destroying it" as you are now attempting to re-write his legacy.
At least deal with reality. Fair and balanced.
Or put your head back in the sand as usual, and let the lionization for political purposes begin. As clearly you have decided to do.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/7/2004 @ 12:32 pm PT...
No, I am talking about Bush taking care of it now!!!!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/7/2004 @ 12:41 pm PT...
The Poor -
Like Rush said today, $5-$7 trillion went to the War on Poverty and it did not work. Only the Republicans who passed Welfare Reform, reluctantly signed by Clinton, is fixing the problem.
"Compassion is not measured by the number of people getting help, but by the number who no longer need the help" - Rush
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/7/2004 @ 12:58 pm PT...
I hope you guys are listening to Rush today. Reagan bombed the Lybian dictator and he has been quiet since. The chicken French would not let us use their airspace. Nothing has changed with those appeasers.
Reagan also was brilliant in going to Grenada.
One of my favorite things that happened was when Reagan fired the air traffice controllers. It was against the law to strike, they did, and he fired them. No appeasing there.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/7/2004 @ 1:00 pm PT...
Actually, this thread was about Reagan. Apparently until you tried, just now I guess, to bait and switch.
As we've debated before, we differ on whether Bush is effectively fighting terrorism or instead - as Rumsfeld again suggested this weekend in Bangladesh - we are creating more terrorists than we are killing/capturing.
We can debate that elsewhere. But for now, I guess, you are agreeing that Reagan did NOT do what he should have done (according to Bush, Rush and you) to fight terrorism.
If it was a Dem prez at that same time, I'm sure you'd be blaming him now for the trouble we find ourselves in. So why don't you show some intellectual honesty for once and admit that - according to the way you think terrorism should be fought - Reagan did quite the contrary and ended up (accidentally, for good reason, or otherwise), doing the complete opposite and has aided and abetted us being where we are today.
Be courageous - and honest - if only for once. I know you can do it!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/7/2004 @ 1:01 pm PT...
And when Reagan broke the law by arming the contras, explicitly against the law, did you then, or do you now give a shit about your beloved "rule of law"? Or does that only apply to Democrats?
You now have two chances in a row to prove that you have a shred of intellectual honesty.
Go for it! You can do it!
As you know, Brad, I am an admirer of Reagan. But I think even he would acknowledge that an unintended consequence of helping the Afghan resistance was seeding the potential growth of an anti-Western movement.
I also think he would say that it was worth it to defeat the Soviets. And I have to agree with him.
Also, that terrorism at that time was largely focused on Libya, Iran and Lebanon. I think he dealt with Libya quite sufficiently. And his move to sieze Abu Nidal after the Achille Lauro incident was magnificent.
As for Lebanon, he made the mistake of thinking that communism was a threat there. I think his move to cut losses and leave was the right move.
I don't think anyone could have seen the results of aiding the Afghans, since the Soviet-US struggle so completely overshadowed everything else. But I think Reagan would have seen it and dealt with it, as opposed to pretending it didn't exist.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/7/2004 @ 7:23 pm PT...
Unintended consequences???? Of what? Giving lots and lots of money to Manuel Noriega? Funding the known Drug Traffickers, the Contras? Calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Calling AIDS divine retribution? Nearly bankrupting the United States by bankrupting the U.S.S.R.? LYING about the mythological welfare mother?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/7/2004 @ 8:07 pm PT...
Never mind, I'm just nuts. Reagan was the best President since Jesus.
Jaime, a couple of things:
He never said AIDS was "divine retribution" or anything close to that. It's a wholesale fabrication.
He did not "nearly bankrupt" the US. Yes, the deficit did grow under his tenure. But as a percentage of GDP, it declined steadily from 1986-89, due to the deficit reduction package he negotiated with the Congress. And it never reached a point of seriously threatening the stability of the US economy.
And yes, that deficit was worth running, because it achieved the singular goal of collapsing the USSR.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/8/2004 @ 7:25 am PT...
Was my parents deficit worth running because they really really wanted a nicer boat. Sure they're bankrupt now, but it was a nice boat.
Are we bankrupt, Jaime?
Deficit-spending has its place, if the goal is a worthy one. I happen to believe the defeat of communism was a worthy one. It seems you do not. Fair enough.
I would compare this to Bush. His deficit spending seems to have no purpose. He asks for money for Iraq, and then more money, and then more money. I haven't even seen what it has been spent on yet. Never mind that god-awful Medicare giveaway.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/8/2004 @ 11:23 am PT...
Teddy's comments are great!
Reagan did not know about arming the contras. Oliver North is a hero. Whatever happened, it saved Central and South America, according to a co-worker from Costa Rico who loves Reagan and North. The communists are gone!
I know, that is sad news for those who believe "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," which is the belief of modern-day Liberals.
Brad, you brought up Bush first on this Reagan blog. See above.
In a time of war, which we are in, deficit-spending will increase. Getting rid of terrorists is a worthy cause.
I am not sure if Jaime is bankrupt, but he does seem to have some anger issues and perhaps, some issues with the Christian faith.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/8/2004 @ 11:36 am PT...
"Whatever happened, it saved Central and South America"
So...never mind The Rule of Law.
I have to agree with Brad. Although at the tiem I was a huge supporter of North and I-C, the fact is that we cannot choose when to obey the law. We must always obey the strictures of the Constitution, or else we go down a path none of us wants to follow.
The irony of the whole thing is that they didn't have to violate the Boland Amendment. It allowed for overt funding to friendly countries to prevent arms from getting to Nicaragua. They easily could have sold weapons to Honduras, and Honduras could have given their "old weapons" to the Contras. Yes, that's a whole "spirit vs. letter" debate, but it would fulfill the demands of the Boland Amendment.
Or they just could have waited. If I remember correctly, the Boland Amendment was repealed in 88.
Of course, none of it would have happened if the CIA hadn't declared a private war by mining the harbors of Nicaragua.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/8/2004 @ 5:54 pm PT...
"He never said AIDS was "divine retribution" or anything close to that. It's a wholesale fabrication."
Well, he never said "divine retribution". That may have been a poetic intepretation from 'Angels in America'. But as far as what he *did* say...
In his authorized biography (published in 2000), Reagan is quoted as he wonders aloud about the AIDS pandemic: "Maybe the Lord brought down this plague... [because] illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments." [Dutch, p. 458]
Pretty close it seems to me.
Leaving aside that Morris' biography is somewhat suspect, and he took noted liberties with it, the least of which was inserting himself into it as a character...
Reagan spent 5.7 Billion on AIDS during his two terms. He said in one budget that AIDS "remains the highest public health priority of the Department of Health and Human Services" And in 1985 he said that"
"[I]ncluding what we have in the budget for '86, it will amount to over a half a billion dollars that we have provided for research on AIDS in addition to what I'm sure other medical groups are doing. And we have $100 million in the budget this year; it'll be 126 million next year. So, this is a top priority with us. Yes, there's no question about the seriousness of this and the need to find an answer."
These are not the actions of a president indifferent to the suffering of AIDS victims.
You can read more here:
I am not saying Reagan was a saint. But you are slagging him unjustly in this instance.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/8/2004 @ 7:22 pm PT...
Quoting directly from his Authorized Biography, can hardly be called "slagging".
If you wish to argue he did plenty for AIDS, I'll leave that to you and others.
But I did think the "Divine Retribution" idea was worth sourcing. Make of it whatever you will.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/8/2004 @ 11:18 pm PT...
"Reagan did not know about arming the contras"
-Yeah. He was just the President. Why should he know about giving money to well known drug dealers.
"If you did not make money in the 80s and 90s or did not have a job, you were either lazy, on drugs, or sucking on the national nipple called welfare"
-I believe it was the Lord Jesus Christ who phrased it best when he said..."Get a job you fucking bum" Ahhh the 80's.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/9/2004 @ 6:37 am PT...
Ah! Again the liberals with their profanity!!!!!!
From yahoo -
"Filomena Lopez, the mother of a former Nicaraguan contra fighter, walks past a sign the reads 'Ronald Reagan, the Nicaraguan Resistence Movement thanks you and will always remember you' outside of Catedral Metropolitana in Managua, Nicaragua, Tuesday, June 8, 2004. A mass was held at the church in honor of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan."
Reagan himself said he didn't know. Are you calling him a liar?
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/9/2004 @ 6:57 am PT...
>"Whatever happened, it saved Central and South America"
>So...never mind The Rule of Law.
I didn't say it, my co-worker did. Try to read the text in context.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/9/2004 @ 8:10 am PT...
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
get over it.
Filomena is in the vast minority who adore Reagan in South America.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/9/2004 @ 8:12 am PT...
...or maybe I can call you a "major league asshole"
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/9/2004 @ 8:32 am PT...
Or our friend Paul can take a look at his God and Hero George W. Bush's use of profanity ("fuckin' assholes!") in the Whitehouse. See "Bush Unglued...From the Inside" for more. Where there's smoke, there's "fuckin'" fire.
As to the obsenity of sending thousands to their deaths for unjustified reasons, and the obsenity of giving a damn about The Rule of Law as it concerns blowjobs, but not torture or the funding of murderers strictly against US law...Well, you get to answer to your God on that one, not me. Prevaricate at will! And at your own peril.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/9/2004 @ 8:39 am PT...
"I didn't say it, my co-worker did. Try to read the text in context."
Oh...I see. Kinda like, my National Security Advisor said Saddam had Nukes, not me!
You, Paul, and your prevaricating dissembling desperate Rightwing co-hort Dead-Enders have now officially out-slicked Slick Willie in the parsing business.
Congratulations! You all have managed to make "the meaning of is is" seem rather quaint.
You guys blew it, your day is done, and soon will be our long national nightmare. Enjoy your ride off into the sunset of shameful American history.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/9/2004 @ 10:38 am PT...
> You guys blew it, your day is done, and soon will be our long national nightmare.
We shall see...
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
... des said on 6/9/2004 @ 12:25 pm PT...
i'm heartened to note it's possible for *some* conservatives to have a substantive conversation that takes the time to use actual facts.
i am heartened that the blog format in general (and the Brad Blog in particular) makes it possible for everybody to see the evidence --- *actual* information that we normally can't get from pundits, soundbites or polemical talkradio. the economics of big ratings has effectively hijacked the national dialogue, and now we're reduced to listening to a bunch of useless screamers.
our opinions, analyses and conclusions may differ, but it is only with facts culled from our vast mutual history that we can have any hope of a productive dialogue.
keep up the good work, guys. avoid the easy potshots --- support your arguments with sound evidence instead of fossilized and rehashed spin....it gives us readers a chance to see the evidence and decide for ourselves.
and isn't that the point of all of this?
viva la blogosphere!
Going back to one of Paul's very first comment above:
"Reagan .... left office with the highest approval rating."
Well, actually he was tied with Clinton for highest approval rating upon leaving office --- 68%. Funny how that happens!
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
... Brad said on 6/9/2004 @ 12:41 pm PT...
ABC/Washington Post from 2001 has Clinton one point higher than Reagan upon leaving office.
End-of Presidency Job Approval Ratings:
Bill Clinton (2001) 65%
Ronald Reagan (1989) 64
Dwight Eisenhower (1961) 59
John F. Kennedy (1963) 63
George Bush (1993) 56
Gerald Ford (1977) 53
Lyndon Johnson (1969) 49
Jimmy Carter (1981) 34
Richard Nixon (1974) 24
By why let facts get in the way of an otherwise good canonization?
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 6/10/2004 @ 10:21 am PT...
"I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means
standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God's
help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can't expect
Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the
shelf in our day-to-day living." ++ "We have to keep in mind we
are a nation under God, and if we ever forget that, we'll be just a
nation under." ++ "Sometimes when I'm faced with an unbeliever,
an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we finished eating that
magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there's a cook." ++
"Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in their
totalitarian darkness --- pray that they will discover the joy of
knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they
preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over
individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples
on the earth, they are the locus of evil in the modern world." ++
"How can the leadership of the other side... open each session of
their great convention with an injunction to the Lord, and end
each session with a prayer to God, and still insist on denying that right to a child in a public school?" ++ "[W]e will never
compromise our principles and standards. We will never give away our freedom. We will never abandon our belief in God." + "We
were all revolutionaries, and the revolution has been a success."
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/10/2004 @ 7:19 pm PT...
Care to source that, or did you just make it up after hearing it on Rush?
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/10/2004 @ 7:27 pm PT...
A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
... jaime said on 6/10/2004 @ 7:32 pm PT...
I'll source this one...
Through the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, as first one side and then the other gained the upper hand, the Reagan administration was officially neutral but behind the scenes tilted from one side to the other.
When Iran appeared to be winning in 1982, Reagan and his advisers made a fateful decision to secretly supply Saddam’s military, including permitting shipments of dual-use technology that Iraq then used to build chemical and biological weapons. Tactical military assistance also was provided, including satellite photos of the battlefield.
While congressional inquiries and press accounts have sketched out some of these facts over the years, the current Bush administration continues to plead ignorance or question the reliability of the stories.
Last September, for example, Newsweek reported that the Reagan administration in the 1980s had allowed sales to Iraq of computer databases that Saddam could use to track political opponents and shipments of “bacteria/fungi/protozoa” that could help produce anthrax and other biological weapons. [Newsweek issue dated Sept. 23, 2002]
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va,, asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about the Newsweek story at a Senate hearing on Sept. 19. “Did the United States help Iraq to acquire the building blocks of biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq war?” Byrd inquired. “Are we, in fact, now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sown.”
?“Certainly not to my knowledge,” Rumsfeld responded. “I have no knowledge of United States companies or government being involved in assisting Iraq develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.”
So even the current U.S. secretary of defense—who served the Reagan administration as a special envoy to the Middle East in 1983-84 and personally met with Saddam—says he doesn’t know about this secret history. Promises of further investigation last September also haven’t brought answers to Byrd’s questions.
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