« Superiority complex | Main | The Corner »

February 14, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Very interesting posting. Outstanding analysis of the history I lived through. For that I am making you my only male Valentine for the day. Congratulations. XOXOXO

If I may digress a little. I am just giddy over our Guv's budget move today. It gives me such hope.

As I understand it: Along with our $8.5 billion budget comes a $763 million deficit. Soooooooo, the Guv is going to propose $400 million in tax cuts for business. This REDUCTION in state tax income is going to spur business so that in the end they INCREASE tax receipts to offset the deficit and balance the budget. Wow! magic math. I love it.

Why am I giddy? When I was in college, I considered myself very good at math. Then I took calculus. After two weeks, I bailed out of class. I had no clue what they were talking about.

Now with this new math, where you make up whatever numbers you want and they match whatever solution you imagined, I can't miss. I'm going back to conquer that calculus class. It's been a burr in my saddle for 42 years.

Anyway, Valentine, thank you for helping to clear up the perceptions, real and imagined about Reagan and Carter. The clearer view is helpful.


"Without Reagan, a Gorbachev might not have emerged for years, if ever (the red empire's decline might have caused another Soviet leader facing a seemingly weak American president to risk war)."

Gorbachev was a generational change, as the USSR had run out of candidates that had survived the Great Patriotic War and Stalin. The US instead had Bush 41 and a run by Dole in 1996 before our geriatric WW2 generation ran out of steam. Gorbachev was a true believer who thought Communism could stand on its on without all the saber-rattling and wasteful military spending and occupation. The USSR had already given up the arms race before MG even got to power. RR made them pay for Afghanistan, but at what cost (think of bankrolling Islamic fundamentalists)? In fact I don't think any Soviet leader ever thought war with the West was a good option as their technology and national will was not up to a head-to-head confrontation started by themselves.

azrebel, I too hated calculus. Something about grouping numbers, symbols, and letters together for summation just turns me into a dunce.

So what I gather from the Governor's budget proposal, someone better at math please correct me if wrong, is that lowering taxes on businesses will mean that more businesses will move here; then more people will move here; in turn, more people will spend, increasing revenue for the State.

Basically, hoping for another population boom and relying too heavily on sales taxes is the bottom line. Well, the World knows we have enough foreclosed properties in the burbs for more people and If that is the case, I wish to submit an addendum to the proposed budget: a "cost of living" tax will be imposed on the population based on distance from a principal city in a metropolitan area within Arizona.

So if you live in north Phoenix, Chandler, Surprise, you'll be taxed more than someone in Coronado, Tempe, or Glendale (old city limits at least).

Less taxes will be dedicated to building a billion dollar highway leading out to the next "Sunshine Corridor". Just think of all the added benefits/savings that come along with less reliance on the auto.

Back on task: Great article. I would have been one of those guessing Carter or Reagan incorrectly for some of the policies listed.

More history. Check out this grab and paste:

"The solar panels, first installed by the Carter Administration in 1979, were removed when the White House roof was being repaired in 1986 during the Reagan Administration. At the same time, funding for research into renewable energy all but dried up."

Where'd I grab that from?
Well it turns out that in 2010.....

"After a week-long road trip from Maine to Washington, D.C. to return one of the original Carter White House solar panels and offer it to President Obama, author and activist Bill McKibben, along with three students from Unity College, walked away from a meeting with Administration officials still holding that panel they hauled half-way down the Eastern Seaboard."

Read the rest of the story here:


@koreyel, yet Bush (George W.) installed a system over the cabana that heats the pool and spa? Hmmm, another "who don' it" for future generations but it'll be Bush or Obama instead.

"This is the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth..."


But it is also the 150 anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Are you saving that fact up for another post Jon? I bet you are. And no doubt warming that pen up in a especially hot hell.

Let me get you started with a query:

Give that we are five or six generations past the Civil War, and there is no indication that the South (the original Evil Empire) has out grown its lose or accepted its defeat, should anybody think another six generations will make a difference either?

More food for thought: Paul Krugman pretty much based his whole analysis of US politics in "The Conscience of a Liberal" on this idea:

“One key message of this book, which many readers may find uncomfortable, is that race is at the heart of what has happened to the country I grew up in. The legacy of slavery, America’s original sin, is the reason we’re the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee health care to our citizens. White backlash against the civil rights movement is the reason American is the only advanced country where a major political party wants to roll back the welfare state. Ronald Reagan began his 1980 campaign with a states’ rights speech outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi, the town where three civil rights workers were murdered…”

The South is still drowning our future. And since the recent census showed the South has the greatest population growth, how does America move in any direction but backwards?

Koreyel, I don't agree with Krugman's assessment (without reading the entire text at least) that slavery is the cause of the U.S. not having a "socialist, Universal" health-care system. I'm thinking that has more to do with communist uptick post-WWII.

And, many of the people moving to the South today are blacks whose ancestors(many slaves) left for the North.

re the Civil War, see:


Interesting reading; It is almost "Confederate History Month". It is the same month for opening day of the MLB. Why not combine the two and call it "White History Month." All the others have one, but a reflection on slavery must be one of the lessons for April.

It always confounds me how other countries have integrated and accepted different races and cultures into their societies more wholeheartedly than America.

For instance, Brazil's Carnival (Rio) managed to infuse African song and dance with Latin roots and created a vivacious religious celebration with lots of sexuality.

How did they do it and from the very culture that exported slavery to the New World; Portugal.

Wait, aside from the right-wing witch hunt and attendant nonsense, how was Clinton's second term materially bad for the country?

Clinton's second term: Where to begin? His recklessness with a 21-year-old intern that gave the right-wing its opening and made Bush's "victory" more possible; the repeal of Glass-Steagall and other banking deregulation, setting the stage for the financial collapse of 2008; telecom deregulation (600,000 jobs lost); an SEC that allowed the likes of Enron to do their rackets; welfare "reform" that has further hurt the poor; not enough to prepare the American people for the bin Laden era or the competitive reality of China in the WTO and as a Most Favored Nation...I'll stop there. I could go on. Bill Clinton did more to destroy liberalism than Newt Gingrich and all his white-right pals.

Huh. I've honestly never seen anyone put together a bill of particulars against him in quite such convincing fashion. I (like many liberals and Dems, no doubt) was so consumed with defending him against the Arkansas Project and the deranged impeachment charade that his policy record faded into the background. (Aided, no doubt, by the economic good times we were all enjoying.) Thanks for that answer.

I'll add to the list; his Don't Ask Don't Tell policy set the country back a few decades...

As someone who grew up hating Richard Nixon passionately, I can appreciate the disillusioning complexity that time and new fresh perspectives bring to recent history. It's not that Nixon would be any less loathsome today than he was 40 years ago. But wouldn't his competence and Big Government solutions seem like an oasis of rationalism by comparison to the current hysteria? You might think he would bring to the presidency something other than nihilistic zeal for the Culture War. But ambitious individuals achieve greatness not in spite of their era's failings but in keeping with the moods and values of the time. And Nixon's cunning would neutralize the now mandatory sincerity requirement.

Jimmy Carter's improbable ascent to the presidency was understandable as a cultural reaction to Nixon's thuggish Machiavellianism. Likewise, Ronald Reagan's victory can be understood as a rejection of Carter's brittle moralism. The leader who best understands the mood of the nation will probably win because a president is circumscribed by the myths and dreams of those he would lead.

Reagan performed the presidency like a virtuoso, which enabled him to damage the nation immensely. Even today, most citizens are unconscious of that damage, from the childish entitlement of tax cuts, to the celebration of ignorance and ideology, to rapacious energy and environmental policies. Moreover, Reagan validated for the average American the idea that stupidity was virtuous.

Carter's lifelong self-improvement project has made him unlikeable as a human being, and made his presidency sour and uninspiring. The pundit Joseph Kraft once called him a "factionalist of the center", which meant Carter managed the rare political feat of alienating both left and right while perplexing moderates.

I think Obama understands the Carter trap. He doesn't challenge us on any particular level nor does he make us think he's some priggish Sunday school teacher. He gets that we're angry, so he'll even let Bill O'Reilly take some whacks at him. He's patient and understanding even if he's not quite the Daddy we crave or the Best Friend from long ago.

Obama's presidency is not his fault or even his accomplishment. It's ours. We took this talented and graceful kid and found in him the political vessel of a collective dream. But our dreams are very small now: less strife, more niceness, and some modest improvement to our material lives. If Obama disappoints, it's for reasons that have more to do with ourselves. We have become incomprehensible to one another. The gibberish of our politics is the sign. Nor can we translate our wounds into poetry. When we awake, the dream is simply something odd and bewildering. One moment later, it's gone.

Try this one on for size . . .

"Goldman Sachs is our Mubarak."


From Soleri: And I agree. "If Obama disappoints, it's for reasons that have more to do with ourselves."
Jon I can work within your short analysis of Carter and Reagan. But I believe that Global economics caused the Russians to change in order to survive. Reagan just happened to be in that time and space. Love your take on Clinton. But Clinton still hasn't learned (and he is a SMART guy) he literally destroyed Hillary's run against Obama. Although Nixon was a real drunk quaking pscyo he did help the environmental movement. As a 70 year old conservationist and conservative Republican, I still contend the last good Republican president was Ike. and He said "beware the industrial/military complex." Well as Soleri pointed out we didn't watch out and now they rule the world. For what it's worth there are some good books and movies out there that address this matter.
The Mechanic on assignment for Global Elimination, A company that can handle any troublesome problem.

For me, the turning point in my Republican support came when Reagan appointed James Watt Sec. of the Interior. Watt was a religious zealot who believed that when the rapture came, we wouldn't need to worry about the environment. Maybe that was when the conservatives lost interest in "conservation"?

"Maybe that was when the conservatives lost interest in 'conservation'?" - MoreCleanAir

A political party whose central tenet was stewardship, rather than the conservation of privilege or hoarding, would be a beautiful thing. Oh, wait . . . that's the Green Party!

Vote your conscience.


During Reagan's presidency, there was a weekend when he planned to make an announcement in conjunction with Senator Barry Goldwater. The announcement was planned for Monday. Goldwater got ahold of his staff and told them to make the announcement on Saturday. The announcement was made to the AP on Saturday. On Sunday, the President tried five times to get Goldwater on the phone to question him. Goldwater refused the call five times. On the sixth call, the President got Goldwater on the phone. Before the President could get his first sentence out, Goldwater said "Go F@#% yourself" and hung up the phone. There are elected officials/leaders of this country and then there are POWERBROKERS in this country. They are not usually one and the same.


Goldwater and Sam Steiger decided that THEY WOULD MAKE Ev Mecham governor of Arizona so that they could run the state themselves. It would have worked except the dumb puppet decided to act and speak on his own. You know the end result of that.


Obama is the Ev Mecham of national politics. I wonder who his puppet masters are?

The NYSE is now German owned...

Das ist nicht gut.

Not completely surprising, nonetheless.

Greens a nice color but at 70 I am staying a conservationist and a Republican. James Watt was a evil man of the cults. I propose that Organized Religion be recognized as the business enterprise it is and taxed accordingly. Better yet earth will be a really nice planet once "The Rapture" occurs.

No mention of Iran-Contra or Reagan's disgustingly callous disregard of the AIDS crisis.

I grew up in the DC area and remember the explosion in homelessness following St. Ronald of Reagan's policy of kicking mental patients out of institutions. Then there was that lovely crack epidemic. Thanks to Him allowing cocaine to flood US cities.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz