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The massive
(but under-reported)

Reagan Administration corruption

Conservatives and Republicans are such paragons of virtue and truth that they tried to pin Ronald Reagan's "most corrupt administration in American history" medal on Bill Clinton! Despite the fact that the President and first lady, and many members of the Clinton administration were deluged with charges of criminal behavior on the street and in the media, their accusers fell flat on their faces when they had to prove their trumped up charges in court, where it's evidence and proof that matter – not claims that a good lawyer can show to be devoid of serious credibility. –
        Contrast that to the great numbers of the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan who were not just charged, but were found guilty, in court! How can it be that most Americans don't remember the Reagan administration for its corruption? It couldn't possible be because the so-called "Liberal media" rarely, if ever, shines its powerful spotlights on that part of U.S. history? My spotlight is nowhere as strong as theirs, but if enough of us help to spread the word, maybe we can make up for that deficiency.
        The contenders for the title of "the most corrupt administration in American history" are all Republican administrations.  It may be hard to order them exactly, but the contenders for the first, second, third & fourth "most corrupt administrations in American history" are the Republican administrations of Grant, Harding, Nixon and Reagan.

Before any conservative dismisses what we have to say about Reagan on this site just because we are liberals, after taking a good hard look at the record, the very conservative site Jesus-is-Savior.com/Wolves/reagan.htm came to many of the very same conclusions that we reached, i.e. ( in their own words) :
        "Let us remember Reagan as he really was :

  • Liar
  • Thief
  • Mass murderer
  • Supporter of abortion
  • War criminal
  • Destroyer of freedom
  • Traitor of the American people
  • Corporate whore
  • Destroyer of the environment
  • Supporter of Satanists & child-murderers "

Ronald Reagan's Criminal Administration :

"By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations.  In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever."
        from p. 184,Sleep-Walking Through History: America in the Reagan Years, by Haynes Johnson, (1991, Doubleday), as are the examples below:

  1. James Watt, Reagan's Secretary of the Interior was indicted on 41 felony counts for using connections at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help his private clients seek federal funds for housing projects in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  Watt conceded that he had received $500,000 from clients who were granted very favorable housing contracts after he had intervened on their behalf.  In testifying before a House committee Watt said: "That's what they offered and it sounded like a lot of money to me, and we settled on it." Watt was eventually sentenced to five years in prison and 500 hours of community service.
  2. Although not convicted, Edwin Meese III, resigned as Reagan's Attorney General after having been the subject of investigations by the United States Office of the Independent Counsel on two occasions (Wedtech and Iran-Contra), during the 3 short years he was in office.
  3. E. Bob Wallach, close friend and law classmate of Attorney General Edwin Meese, was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $250,000 in connection with the Wedtech influence-peddling scandal.
  4. Lyn Nofziger – Convicted on charges of illegal lobbying of White House in Wedtech scandal.
  5. Michael Deaver received three years' probation and was fined one hundred thousand dollars after being convicted for lying to a congressional subcommittee and a federal grand jury about his lobbying activities after leaving the White House.
  6. The Iran-Contra scandal. In June, 1984, at a National Security Council meeting, CIA Director Casey urged President Reagan to seek third-party aid for the Nicaraguan contras.  Secretary of State Schultz warned that it would be an "impeachable offense" if the U.S. government acted as conduit for such secret funding.  But that didn't stop them.  That same day, Oliver North was seeking third-party aid for the contras.  But Reagan, the "teflon President" avoided serious charges or impeachment.
  7. Casper Weinberger was Secretary of Defense during Iran-Contra.  In June 1992 he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of concealing from congressional investigators and prosecutors thousands of pages of his handwritten notes.  The personal memoirs taken during high level meetings, detailed events in 1985 and 1986 involving the Iran-Contra affair.  Weinberger claimed he was being unfairly prosecuted because he would not provide information incriminating Ronald Reagan.  Weinberger was scheduled to go on trial January 5, 1993, where the contents of his notes would have come to light and may have implicated other, unindicted conspirators.  While Weinberger was never directly linked to the covert operations phase of the Iran-Contra affair, he is believed to have been involved in the cover-up of the ensuing scandal. According to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, Weinberger's notes contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to congress and the American public.  Some of the notes are believed to have evidence against then Vice-President George Bush who pardoned Weinberger to keep him from going to trial.
  8. Raymond Donovan, Secretary of Labor indicted for defrauding the New York City Transit Authority of $7.4. million.
    { Republicans will point out that Donovan was acquitted.  And that really matters in Donovan's case, because he was a Republican.  But it didn't matter for Clinton or any of his cabinet, most all of whom were acquitted, because they were Democrats!}
  9. Elliott Abrams was appointed by President Reagan in 1985 to head the State Department's Latin American Bureau.  He was closely linked with ex-White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver North's covert movement to aid the Contras.  Working for North, Abrams coordinated inter-agency support for the contras and helped solicit illegal funding from foreign powers as well as domestic contributors.  Abrams agreed to cooperate with Iran-Contra investigators and pled guilty to two charges reduced to misdemeanors.  He was sentenced in 1991 to two years probation and 100 hours of community service but was pardoned by President George Bush.
  10. Robert C. McFarlane was appointed Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor in October 1983 and become well-known as a champion of the MX missile program in his role as White House liaison to congress.  In 1984, McFarlane initiated the review of U.S. policy towards Iran that led directly to the arms for hostages deal.  He also supervised early National Security Council efforts to support the Contras. Shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed in early 1987, McFarlane took an overdose of the tranquilizer Valium in an attempt to end his life.  In his own words: "What really drove me to despair was a sense of having failed the country." McFarlane pled guilty to four misdemeanors and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service.  He was also fined $20,000.  He received a blanket pardon from President George Bush.
  11. Oliver North – Convicted of falsifying and destroying documents, accepting an illegal gratuity, and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress.  Conviction overturned on appeal due to legal technicalities.
  12. John Poindexter, Reagan's national security advisor, – guilty of five criminal counts involving conspiracy to mislead Congress, obstructing congressional inquiries, lying to lawmakers, used "high national security" to mask deceit and wrong-doing.
  13. Richard Secord pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to Congress over Iran-Contra.
  14. Alan D. Fiers was the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Central American Task Force.  Fiers pled guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information from congress about Oliver North's activities and the diversion of Iran arms sale money to aid the Contras.  He was sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.  Fiers agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for having his felonies reduced to misdemeanors and his testimony gave a boost to the long standing criminal investigation of Lawrence Walsh, Special Prosecutor.  Fiers testified that he and three CIA colleagues knew by mid-1986 that profits from the TOW and HAWK missile sales to Iran were being diverted to the Contras months before it became public knowledge.  Alan Fiers received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President Bush.
  15. Clair George was Chief of the CIA's Division of Covert Operations under President Reagan.  In August 1992 a hung jury led U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to declare a mistrial in the case of Clair George who was accused of concealing from Congress his knowledge of the Iran-Contra affair.  George had been named by Alan Fiers when Fiers turned state's evidence for Lawrence Walsh's investigation. In a second trial on charges of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice, George was convicted of lying to two congressional committees in 1986.  George faced a maximum five year federal prison sentence and a $20,000 fine for each of the two convictions.  Jurors cleared George of five other charges including two counts of lying to a federal grand jury.  Those charges would have carried a mandatory 10 months in prison upon conviction.  Clair George received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President George Bush.
  16. Duane R. (Dewey) Clarridge was head of the CIA's Western European Division under President Reagan.  He was indicted on November 29, 1991 for lying to congress and to the Tower Commission that investigated Iran- Contra.  Clarridge was charged with five counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements for covering up his knowledge of a November 25, 1985 shipment of HAWK missiles to Iran. Clarridge was also suspected of diverting to the Contras weapons that were originally intended for the Afghan mujahaddeen guerrillas.  Clarridge received a blanket pardon for his crimes on Christmas Eve 1992 from President George Bush.
  17. Environmental Protection Agency's favoritism toward polluter.  Assistant administrator unduly influenced by chemical industry lobbyists.  Another administrator resigned after pressuring employees to tone down a critical report on a chemical company accused of illegal pollution in Michigan.  The deputy chief of federal activities was accused of compiling an interagency "hit" or "enemies" list, like those kept in the Nixon Watergate period, singling out career employees to be hired, fired or promoted according to political beliefs.
  18. Anne Gorsuch Burford resigned amid accusations she politically manipulated the Superfund money.
  19. Rita Lavelle was fired after accusing a senior EPA official of "systematically alienating the business community." She was later indicted, tried and convicted of lying to Congress and served three months of a six-month prison sentence.  After an extensive investigation, in August 1984, a House of Representatives subcommittee concluded that top-level EPA appointees by Reagan for three years "violated their public trust by disregarding the public health and the environment, manipulating the Superfund program for political purposes, engaging in unethical conduct and participating in other abuses.".
  20. Neglected nuclear safety. A critical situation involving nuclear safety had been allowed to develop during the Reagan era.  Immense sums, estimated at 200 billion or more, would be required in the 1990s to replace and make safe America's neglected, aging, deteriorating, and dangerous nuclear facilities.
  21. Savings & Loan Bail-out. Hundreds of billions of dollars were needed to bail out savings and loan institutions that either had failed during the deregulation frenzy of the eighties or were in danger of bankruptcy.
  22. Reckless airline deregulation. Deregulation of airline industry took too broad a sweep, endangering public safety.
  23. Richard Allen, National Security adviser resigned amid controversy over an honorarium he received for arranging an interview with Nancy Reagan.
  24. Richard Beggs, chief administrator at NASA was indicted for defrauding the government while an executive at General Dynamics.
  25. Guy Flake, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, resigned after allegations of a conflict of interest in contract negotiations.
  26. Louis Glutfrida, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency resigned amid allegations of misuses of government property.
  27. Edwin Gray, Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank was charged with illegally repaying himself and his wife $26,000 in travel costs.
  28. Max Hugel, CIA chief of covert operations who resigned after allegations of fraudulent financial dealings.
  29. Carlos Campbell, Assistant Secretary of Commerce resigned over charges of awarding federal grants to his personal friends' firms.
  30. John Fedders, chief of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission resigned over charges of beating his wife.
  31. Arthur Hayes, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration resigned over illegal travel reimbursements.
  32. J. Lynn Helms, chief of the Federal Aviation Administration resigned over a grand jury investigation of illegal business activities.
  33. Marjory Mecklenburg, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources resigned over irregularities on her travel vouchers.
  34. Robert Nimmo, head of the Veterans Administration resigned when a report criticized him for improper use of government funds.
  35. J. William Petro, U.S. Attorney fired and fined for tipping off an acquaintance about a forthcoming Grand Jury investigation.
  36. Thomas C. Reed, White House counselor and National Security Council adviser resigned and paid a $427,000 fine for stock market insider trading.
  37. Emanuel Savas, Assistant Secretary of HUD resigned over assigning staff members to work on government time on a book that guilty to expense account fraud and accepting kickbacks on government contracts.
  38. Charles Wick, Director of the U.S. Information Agency investigated for taping conversations with public officials without their approval.
            As of March 27, 2007, it was only an indictment, but Bloomberg News was reporting that David Stockman, President Reagan's budget director, was indicted on charges of defrauding investors and banks of $1.6 billion while chairman of Collins & Aikman Corp., an auto parts maker that collapsed days after he quit.
  39. Two types of problems typified the ethical misconduct cases of the Reagan years, and both had heavy consequences to citizens everywhere.  One stemmed from ideology and deregulatory impulses run amok; the other, from classic corruption on a grand scale.
    * The Pentagon procurement scandal, which resulted from the Republicans' enormous infusion of money too quickly into the Defense Department after the lean Carter years .
    * Massive fraud and mismanagement in the Department of Housing and Urban Development throughout Reagan's eight years.  These were finally documented in congressional hearings in spring 1989, after Reagan left office.  Cost the taxpayers billions of dollars in losses.  What made this scandal most shameful was that Reagan's' friends and fixers profited at the expense of the poor, the very people HUD and the federal government were pledged to assist through low-income housing. . .
            Despite their many public lies about the matter, it was eventually proven that the Sales of weapons to Iran, followed by illegal financial support of the Central American Contras were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, and national security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter.  Of these officials, only Weinberger and Shultz dissented from the policy decision.  Weinberger eventually acquiesced and ordered the Department of Defense to provide the necessary arms.  Large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials in an attempt to cover up the administration's extensive corruption.

    Summary of Iran/Contra, Independent Counsel Report.

    The views of some of his peers and associates:

    Instead of exposing him for his constant colossal
    misrepresentation of the facts, the so-called "mainstream
    news media" have perpetuated the myth of
    Ronald Reagan as "The Great Communicator"

    Here are examples of what he "communicated":

      Prior to his Presidency :
    1. Reagan, in 1965, describing Medicaid recipients. "...a faceless mass, waiting for handouts." –
    2. Reagan, in 1966 : "Today a newcomer to the state is automatically eligible for our many aid programs the moment he crosses the border." –   (In fact, immigrants to California had to wait five years before becoming eligible for benefits.  Reagan later acknowledged his error, but repeated the same thing nine months later.)
    3. Over a period of about five years, Reagan told the story of the "Chicago welfare queen" who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for "four nonexistent deceased husbands," bilking the government out of "over $150,000".  The real welfare recipient to whom Reagan referred was actually convicted for using two different aliases to collect $8,000.  Reagan continued to use his version of the story even after the press pointed out the actual facts of the case to him.
    4. Reagan, opposing the expansion of Redwood National Park in 1966 : "A tree is a tree.  How many more do you have to look at?" -
    5. Reagan, in 1960 : "Hollywood has no blacklist." –   ( FBI records have since shown that this was a lie, and that Reagan personally informed on several actors, later shown to be innocent, destroying their careers in the process.)
    6. Reagan, in 1966 : "I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964." –
    7. Reagan, complaining about student protests against Vietnam on the Berkeley campus in 1966 : "A small minority of beatniks, radicals, and filthy speech advocates . . .  brought such shame to a great university." –
    8. Reagan, prior to having national guard soldiers break up a peaceful protest on the UC Berkeley campus in 1969 : "If there has to be a bloodbath, then let's get it over with." –   ( The protesters were tear-gassed and fired upon with buckshot. One protester was killed and at least 128 others wounded. )
    9. Reagan, in 1967, describing homosexuality.  ". . . a tragic illness." – (When two of his aides were found to be gay that year, he asked for their resignations.)
    10. Reagan, in 1976 "Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal.." –
    11. Reagan, in a speech he gave to a crowd in Atlanta, GA. "Jefferson Davis is a hero of mine." –
    12. Reagan, describing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, arguably the primary legislative victory for blacks during the Civil Rights movement in 1980 : "...humiliating to the South..." –
    13. Reagan, in a 1980 speech in Philadelphia, MS, a town famous for the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964.  "I believe in states' rights..." – ("States rights" is used in the South as a code word indicating support of Jim Crow laws.)
    14. Reagan, in 1979 : "80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees." –   (This is still a personal favorite.)
      As President :
    15. Reagan,in 1980 : "I have flown twice over Mt St. Helens out on our west coast.  I'm not a scientist and I don't know the figures, but I have a suspicion that that one little mountain has probably released more sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere of the world than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind that people are so concerned about." – (At its peak, Mt. St. Helens released 1/40th as much sulfur dioxide as cars do every day.)
    16. Reagan, in 1983 : "There is today in the United States as much forest as there was when Washington was at Valley Forge." –
    17. Reagan, in 1980 : "I've said it before and I'll say it again.  The U.S. Geological Survey has told me that the proven potential for oil in Alaska alone is greater than the proven reserves in Saudi Arabia." – .  (Saudi Arabia's oil reserves are approximately 17 times those of Alaska.)
    18. Reagan, in 1981: "All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."   (In fact, a single nuclear power plant can produce up to 22,000 cubic feet of of radioactive waste per year.)
    19. Reagan, in 1980:
              "Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" –
    20. Reagan, referring to a supposed blind person who wrote him a letter in 1981 : "He wrote in Braille to tell me that if cutting his pension would help get this country back on its feet, he'd like to have me cut his pension." –   (After reporter inquiries, no such letter was ever shown to have existed.)
    21. the Killer Trees   After opining in August 1980 that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," Reagan arrived at a campaign rally to find a tree decorated with this sign: "Chop me down before I kill again."
    22. Reagan, in 1980 : "Because Vietnam was not a declared war, the veterans are not even eligible for the G. I. Bill of Rights with respect to education or anything."
    23. Reagan, in 1981 : "I never knew anything above C's." –   (describing his academic record.)
    24. Reagan, in 1982.  (Later admitted by White House Spokesman Larry Speakes to be untrue.) "I never wear (makeup).  I didn't wear it when I was in pictures." –
    25. Ronald Reagan claimed in April 1982  "In England, if a criminal carried a gun, even though he Yitzhak didn't use it, he was tried for first-degree murder and hung if he was found guilty".  When informed that the story was "just not true,"  White House spokesman Larry Speakes said,  "Well, it's a good story, though.  It made the point, didn't it?"  Reagan repeated the story again on March 21, 1986 during an interview with The New York Times. 
    26. The Liberator. In November 1983, Reagan told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that he had served as a photographer in a U.S. Army unit assigned to film Nazi death camps.  He repeated the story to Simon Wiesenthal the following February.  Reagan never visited or filmed a concentration camp; he spent World War II in Hollywood, making training films with the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Corps.
    27. Reagan, in 1983 : "We think there is a parallel between federal involvement in education and the decline in profit over recent years." –
    28. Reagan, in 1984.  (This laughable statement was promptly disputed and soundly proven false the very next day by G.E. Theater makeup man Howard Smith, Death Valley Days makeup man Del Acevedo, and debate panelist James Weighart, as well as Mayor Edward Bergin, recalling a recent presidential visit to Connecticut.)
              "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes." –
    29. Reagan, in 1984 : "I cannot recall anything whatsoever about whether I approved an Israeli sale in advance or whether I approved replenishment of Israeli stocks around August of 1985.  My answer therefore and the simple truth is, 'I don't remember, period'." –
    30. Reagan, dodging reporters questions in 1985 : "They turned out the lights.  That tells me I can't talk anymore." –
    31. Reagan, explaining how a five cent a gallon tax on gasoline isn't actually a tax in 1982 : "It would be a user fee..." -
    32. Reagan, justifying laying a wreath at a Nazi cemetery in Bitburg in 1985 :   "I know all the bad things that happened in that war.  I was in uniform for four years myself." – (He spent WWII in Hollywood, making films.)
    33. Reagan, justifying his policies on Nicaragua, in 1985 : "They haven't been there.  I have."   (Ronald Reagan had never visited Nicaragua.) "They have eliminated the segregation that we once had in our own country..."
    34. Reagan, in 1985,   (praising the government of P.W. Botha in South Africa, during the height of apartheid.) "They've done away with those committees.  That shows the success of what the Soviets were able to do in this country." –
    35. Reagan, in 1985, praising the Afghan Mujahideen.  "These gentlemen are the moral equivalent of America's founding fathers." – {These "freedom fighters" included prominent leaders of Al Qaeda, such as Osama Bin Laden, as well as many of the leaders for the Taliban.)
    36. Reagan, in 1985,   ( responding to a reporter's question, "Mr. President, why don't we openly support those 7,000 guerrillas that are in rebellion rather than giving aid through covert activity?" referring to the brutal Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who indiscriminately attacked civilians.) "Well, because we want to keep on obeying the laws of our country, which we are now obeying." "Doesn't the United States want that government replaced?" "No, because that would be a violation of the law." -
    37. Reagan, in 1987.  ( At the time of the press conference, the U.S. was giving the indiscriminately murderous Contra guerrillas covert aid, in direct violation of the law.  Reagan's lie was so obvious that members of the press corps laughed loudly and openly at his statements.) "If the question comes up at the Tower Board meeting, you might want to say that you were surprised." –
    38. Arms for Hostages.: "We did not – repeat, did not – trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we," Reagan proclaimed in November 1986.  Four months later, on March 4, 1987, Reagan admitted in a televised national address, "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."
    39. Reagan, in 1988 : "Facts are stupid things." –
    40. Reagan,   (during the latter years of his administration) : "I am not worried about the deficit.  It is big enough to take care of itself." –
    41. Reagan, in 1989 : "Maybe the Lord brought down this plague [because] illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments." -(Reagan didn't even mention AIDS until 1987, by which time it had spread into the heterosexual population and over 25,000 Americans had died.) "What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice" –
      [ Remembering the Gipper in his own words]

      At the nationally broadcast state funeral for President Ronald Reagan, his son Ronald, Jr. said of Reagan that while he was "deeply and unabashedly religious, he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians – wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage."  He made it clear later that he was speaking of people like President George W. Bush.


      "Divine Guidance"

      Geocities.com/thereaganyears/divineguidance.htm shows that the Reagans' idea of "Divine Guidance" was fortune-tellers:

      "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."

      Donald Regan (Reagan's former chief of staff),
      For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington

      "It wasn't widely circulated until the publication of Donald Regan's memoir, For the Record in 1988, that President Reagan and his influential wife sought the advice of an astrologer.  Time magazine would later identify Ron and Nancy's chart reader as being San Francisco astrologist Joan Quigley.  Quigley was not the first astrologer the Reagans had consulted.  Ronald and Nancy Reagan had a long history of involvement with astrologers and psychics.  During the 1950's and 1960's, Ron and Nancy enlisted the services of Hollywood astrologer Carroll Righter, and later Jeanne Dixon.  In his 1965 autobiography, Where's the Rest of Me?, Reagan said that he and Righter were friends, and that he and Nancy read Righter's column "regularly." (It was on Righter's advice that Reagan postponed his inauguration as governor of California for 9 minutes until the auspicious moment of 12:10 a.m.)"

              "For fundamentalist preachers like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell – who proclaimed Reagan a standard-bearer of Christian righteousness – the astrology matter should have been of particular concern.  Astrology is a branch of the occult and is inimical to Christianity.  However, if the fundamentalist leaders were concerned or embarrassed by the astrology revelations, they didn't show it.  (They also ignored the fact that Reagan rarely attended church.)"

      Ronald Reagan's Record "Firsts"

      1. First to serve as Governor on a "conservative" platform and increase spending by 112%.
      2. First Governor to increase personal income taxes by 60%, increase the cigarette tax by 200%, and increase state tax collections by 152%.
      3. First to have a popularity rating of only 35% after his first two years in office.
      4. First to have had a shotgun wedding.
      5. First president to have been divorced.
      6. First to increase spending by 80% – in only 8 years.
      7. First to spend more in eight years than was spent in prior 50 years.
      8. First to cut taxes by 60% for his rich pals.
      9. First to have increased the national debt faster than growth of national income.
      10. First to "almost": triple the national debt.
      11. First to increase the national debt faster than growth of GDP.
      12. First to double the deficit.
      13. First to turn America into a debtor nation.
      14. First to set a record for the largest one day percentage decline in the DOW in history.  10-19-87.
      15. First to have "real" interest rates of 8% after averaging 1% over 35 years.
      16. First to keep prime interest rates at 20%.
      17. First to have home loan interest rates as high as 16%.
      18. First to allow the savings and loan industry to be raided after signing a deregulatory bill and proclaiming "I think we have hit the jackpot".  Come and get it the vaults are unguarded.
      19. First to send an autographed Bible to a man he called "The Satan of Terrorists".
      20. First to have an admiral plead the Fifth Amendment.
      21. First to have a stealing, lying, gutless wife abusing Marine LT. Colonel plead the Fifth Amendment.
      22. First to have a sitting cabinet member indicted.
      23. First to have an Assistant Secretary of State indicted.
      24. First to have an Assistant Secretary of Defense sent to prison.
      25. First to have over 100 members of an administration charged with crimes.
      26. First to have more members of his administration charged with crimes than the cumulative total of all other presidents in the twentieth century.
      27. First to testify "under oath" 130 times that "I don't remember".
      28. First to have an Admiral with a photographic memory testify 128 times " I don't remember".
      29. First to repeatedly falsify his wife's age,  as though anyone cared.
      30. First to promote his religious faith and while never having an active membership in any church.
      31. First to never use the term Jesus Christ in speeches.
      32. First to have unemployment at 10.8% since great depression.
      33. First to attack a small unprotected nation with 88,000 inhabitants and 10,000 bb guns, and then proclaim "America stands tall again".  "we have whipped the Vietnam Syndrome.  We have defeated communism".
      34. #1-in farm foreclosures.
      35. #1-In bank failures.
      36. #1-In Savings and Loan failures.
      37. #1-In percent increase in personal bankruptcies.
      38. #1-In having servicemen killed during peacetime.
      39. #1-In largest drop in popularity in one week.
      40. #1-In being first to honor Nazi Storm Troopers by calling them" Innocent Victims".
      41. First to lie - over and over- to reporters "I do not dye my hair;  my barber uses a special shampoo."
      42. First to have a wife who "forced" him to wear three suits in one day.
      43. First to boast "Not bad for a dumb guy who worked only 20 hours per week".
      44. First to have his wife sit nearby and whisper answers to questions.
      45. First to have his press secretary remove him from the microphone when he could not answer questions.  (When the reporter shouted out "answer my question", the president replied "my handlers won't let me speak").
      46. First to have a Special Assistant say on national TV "sometimes you had to hit him on the head with a 2 x 4 to get his attention".
      47. #1-In needing a staff person standby during press conferences to tell the press "what he really meant".
      48. #1-In recorded misstatements.
      49. #1-In never having a single press conference in which he did not make incorrect statements.
      50. First to invite the Pope to visit the White House and "bring the wife and kids".
      51. First to fall asleep while the Pope spoke.
      52. First 20th Century president to have historians rate him below every president of the 20th except for Richard Nixon.  1994 Poll.
      53. First to have been openly alienated from his children.
      54. First to suggest his eldest son undergo psychiatric examination.
      55. First to have been voted in British polls (twice) as the "most feared leader in the world" sic em Rambo.
      56. First to have his official biographer state on national TV:  'After he was shot in 1981, he got slower and slower each year.  His speech got slower.  He deliberated more and he hesitated more when he spoke.  He lost his physical quickness and would not make decisions on the spot.  It was a very, very slow and steady mental and physical decline".
      57. First president to have the Geriatrics Department of a major university study his behavior and conclude that after three years in office he had Alzheimer's. 
      58. First to have over $10,000,000 increase in wealth from serving for 8 years as president.

        the Real Reagan Legacy
        Debunking Myths About Reagan

        by Mike Hersh

        March 19, 2002 (Political Sanity/APJP) –

        Let's begin our examination of the real Reagan Legacy by taking a look at myth number one:

        Democrats dominated Congress throughout
        Reagan's terms, and called all his budgets
        "Dead on arrival".

                That's numerically and historically false.  Reagan's people shoved his programs through the Congress during the early Reagan years.  James A. Baker, David Stockman and other Reaganites ran roughshod over Tip O'Neill and the divided Democrats in the House and Senate, and won every critical vote.  This is because of the GOP majority in the Senate and the GOP-"Boll Weevil" (or "Dixiecrat") coalition in the House.  Phil Gramm was a House Democrat at the time, and he even sponsored the most important Reagan budgets.
                Only after the huge Reagan recession – made worse by utterly failed Reagan "Voodoo Economics" - did Democrats regain some control in Congress.  They halted some Reagan initiatives, but couldn't do much on their own.  That was a time of gridlock.
                Six years into Reagan's presidency, Democrats took back the Senate, and began to reverse some of Reagan's horrendous policies.  By that time, Reaganomics had "accomplished" quite a bit: doubled the national debt, caused the S&L crisis, and nearly wrecked the financial system.
                Which brings us to myth number two :

        Jimmy Carter (Reagan's predecessor)
        wrecked the economy, and
        Reagan's bold tax cuts saved it.

        This is utterly absurd.  Economic growth indices – GDP, jobs, revenues – were all positive when Carter left office.  All plunged after Reagan policies took effect. . . .
                Another major myth :

        Reagan cut taxes on all Americans,
        and that led to a great expansion.

                Here's the truth: the total federal tax burden increased during the Reagan years, and most Americans paid more in taxes after Reagan than before.  The "Reagan Recovery" was unremarkable.  It looks great only contrasted against the dismal Reagan Recession – but it had nothing to do with Supply Side voodoo.
                With a red ink explosion – $300 BILLION deficits looming as far as the eye could see – GOP Senators, notably including Bob Dole, led the way on tax hikes.  The economy enjoyed its recovery only after total tax increases larger than the total tax cuts were implemented.  Most importantly, average annual GDP growth during the Reagan 80s was lower than during the Clinton 90s or the JFK-LBJ 60s!
                Enough about the economy.  Here's the biggest myth of them all :

        Ronald Reagan won the "Cold War".

        In reality, Reagan did nothing to bring down the Soviet Union.
                By 1980, the Soviet Union was trying to cut its own defense spending.  Reagan made it harder for them to do so.  In fact, Reagan increased the possibility of a nuclear war because he was – frankly, and sadly – senile.  He thought we could actually recall submarine-launched nuclear missiles (talk about a Reagan myth), and bullied the Soviets to highest alert several times.
                Critically, Reagan never even tried to bring down the Soviet Union.
                Wasteful overspending on defense didn't end the Soviet Union.  In fact, it played into the hands of authoritarian "Communist" hard-liners in the Kremlin.  Reagan thought the Soviet Union was more powerful than we were.  He was trying to close what he called "the window of vulnerability."
                This was sheer idiocy.
                No general in our military would trade our armed forces for theirs.  If it were to happen, none of the Soviet military command would turn down that deal.  We had better systems, better troops, and better morale.
                Here's the truth: we'd already won the Cold War before Reagan took office.  All Reagan needed to do was continue the tried-and-true containment policies Harry S. Truman began and all subsequent presidents employed.  The Soviet Union was collapsing from within.  The CIA actually told this to Reagan as he took office.
                Here's an example: the Soviet Union military couldn't deal with a weak state on its own border, the poor, undermanned Afghanistan.  Most of the Soviets' military might had to make sure its "allies" in the Warsaw Pact and subjects along the South Asian front didn't revolt.  Even Richard Nixon told Reagan he could balance the budget with big defense cuts.
                Reagan ignored this, and wrecked our budget.
                We didn't have to increase weapons spending, but Reagan didn't care.  He ran away from summits with the dying old-guard Soviets, and the new-style "glasnost" leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev baffled the witless Reagan and his closed-minded extremist advisors.
                Maggie Thatcher finally cajoled the Gipper into meeting Gorby, and Gorby cleaned Reagan's clock.  Reagan's hard-right "handlers" nearly had to drag Reagan out of the room before he signed away our entire nuclear deterrent.  Reagan – and the planet – was lucky Gorbachev sought genuine and stable peace.  Had Yuri Andropov's health held, Reagan's "jokes" and gaffes might have caused World War III.
                Eventually Reagan even gave Gorbachev his seal of approval.  Visiting Moscow before the August Coup, Reagan said the Soviet Union was no longer the "Evil Empire." He predicted his friend Gorbachev would lead the Soviet Union for many years to come.
                As usual, Reagan was wrong.  A few months later, disgruntled military officers kidnapped Gorbachev, throwing him out of power forever.  Reagan remained disengaged: nothing he did caused the coup, and nothing he did made the Soviet military support Boris Yeltsin over their superiors.
                We're all fortunate things happened as they did – but once again, Reagan did nothing to make this fluke more likely.
                All this is vintage Reagan.  Reagan took credit for others' hard word and hard choices, and blamed them for his failures.  Reagan even blamed Jimmy Carter for Reagan's foolish, fatal, and reckless decision to leave 243 Marines stationed in Beirut, helpless and unguarded.
                Reagan hired over 100 crooks to run our government, and broke several laws himself.  His policies were almost uniformly self-defeating, wrong-headed, immoral and unfair.
                Reagan was an actor playing the part of the president.  He was style over substance; lucky, not good.   And once the myths are stripped from the "legacy", the truth becomes obvious:

        Reagan was by far the most overrated man in American history.

        Reagan's betrayal of
        the Air Traffic Controllers :

        Most people who have any memory of the Reagan years remember that he caused almost 11,350 of the Air Traffic Controllers' union (approximately 70 percent) to be fired and barred from ever working in their profession again. What most never knew is that in October 1980, candidate Reagan had met with the leaders of that same union and in response to their explaining their issues and concerns to him, he wrote them a letter putting in writing his promise to support them and address their concerns if elected.
                “You can rest assured that if I am elected president, I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air-traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety. I pledge to you that my administration will work very closely with you to bring about a spirit of cooperation between the air-traffic controllers. Such harmony can and must exist if we are to restore the people’s confidence in their government.”

        [ Ronald Reagan’s letter to Robert Poli, president of PATCO, Oct. 20, 1980 ]
                Subsequently, PATCO was one of the very few labor unions that endorsed his candidacy (the others being the Teamsters and the Air Line Pilots Association).
                When candidate Reagan became President Reagan, however, that letter's tone of cooperation and concern of only months before turned into dark threats and stern ultimatums."

        [ http://www.massnurses.org/labor/education/2006/sept/patco.htm ]

        Shed No Tears for Reagan

        Beyond Chron • 'The Voice Of The Rest' •
        San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily
        by Randy Shaw 07.JUN.04

        "The media love celebrity politicians, and Reagan got the sort of media reverence now on display with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  This adoration of the B-movie actor-turned Governor-turned President enabled him to engage in conduct – -the illegal sending of weapons to the Nicaraguan contras-that should have brought his impeachment.
                Reagan's legacy was the massive redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the rich, which he accomplished through massive tax cuts for the wealthy.
                Reagan all but killed off federal housing funding, paving the way for homelessness to remain a persistent problem in America two decades later
                Reagan refused to mention the word "AIDS," and his delayed response to the epidemic caused tens of thousands of avoidable deaths.
                Reagan sent American weapons to thugs seeking to over the democratically-elected Sandinista Government in Nicaragua, despite a congressional ban of such weapon transfers.  He was directly responsible for the murder of thousands of Nicaraguans, and that nation's continued poverty is a legacy of the Reagan.- backed wars.  Reagan sent weapons to prop up El Salvador's phony "democratic" government, and indirectly supported the death squads that preyed on human rights activists and workers seeking to impose real democracy in that land.
                Reagan pushed for the destruction of federally-funded legal services, arts and humanities, and volunteer programs such as the then activist-oriented VISTA program.  What programs Reagan could not kill, he weakened.
                Reagan's environmental record may actually have been worse than George W. Bush's – -impossible as that seems.
                Reagan threw billions down the tubes in a failed attempt to create a Star Wars Missile Defense System.
                Reagan's 1981 tax cut plan was the major force for gentrification and displacement in urban America during the 1980's, as it provided unprecedented tax incentives for real estate speculation. In a not unrelated impact of the measure, saving and loan institutions faced collapse around America, resulting in a multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout of the S & L industry.
                The list of Reagan wrongs could go on and on.  This is a man who held a press conference eating grapes during the UFW grape boycott-Reagan called the farmworkers "outside agitators."
                This is a man who held his campaign kickoff for the Presidency in 1980 in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site where three civil rights workers were murdered in the 1960's.  Reagan chose the site not to highlight the abuses of racism, but to send a message that he would do his best to bring the return of the old ways to the South.
                Ronald Reagan was responsible for more evil and destruction than any American of his generation.  May he rest in peace."

        Here's another very insightful article comparing Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush :

        Don't cry for Reagan

        by Paul Krugman
        The New York Times
        March 19, 2007

        As the Bush administration sinks deeper into its multiple quagmires, the personality cult the G.O.P. once built around President Bush has given way to nostalgia for the good old days. The current cover of Time magazine shows a weeping Ronald Reagan, and declares that Republicans "need to reclaim the Reagan legacy."
                But Republicans shouldn't cry for Ronald Reagan; the truth is, he never left them. There's no need to reclaim the Reagan legacy: Mr. Bush is what Mr. Reagan would have been given the opportunity.
                In 1993 Jonathan Cohn – the author, by the way, of a terrific new book on our dysfunctional health care system – published an article in The American Prospect describing the dire state of the federal government. Changing just a few words in that article makes it read as if it were written in 2007.
                Thus, Mr. Cohn described how the Interior Department had been packed with opponents of environmental protection, who "presided over a massive sell-off of federal lands to industry and developers" that "deprived the department of several billion dollars in annual revenue." Oil leases, anyone?
                Meanwhile, privatization had run amok, because "the ranks of public officials necessary to supervise contractors have been so thinned that the putative gains of contracting out have evaporated. Agencies have been left with the worst of both worlds – demoralized and disorganized public officials and unaccountable private contractors." Holy Halliburton!
                Not mentioned in Mr. Cohn's article, but equally reminiscent of current events, was the state of the Justice Department under Ed Meese, a man who gives Alberto Gonzales and John Mitchell serious competition for the title of worst attorney general ever. The politicization of Justice got so bad that in 1988 six senior officials, all Republicans, including the deputy attorney general and the chief of the criminal division, resigned in protest.
                Why is there such a strong family resemblance between the Reagan years and recent events? Mr. Reagan's administration, like Mr. Bush's, was run by movement conservatives – people who built their careers by serving the alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s. And both cronyism and abuse of power are part of the movement conservative package.
                In part this is because people whose ideology says that government is always the problem, never the solution, see no point in governing well. So they use political power to reward their friends, rather than find people who will actually do their jobs.
                If expertise is irrelevant, who gets the jobs? No problem: the interlocking, lavishly financed institutions of movement conservatism, which range from K Street to Fox News, create a vast class of apparatchiks who can be counted on to be "loyal Bushies."
                The movement's apparatchik culture, in turn, explains much of its contempt for the rule of law. Someone who has risen through the ranks of a movement that prizes political loyalty above all isn't likely to balk at, say, using bogus claims of voter fraud to disenfranchise Democrats, or suppressing potentially damaging investigations of Republicans. As Franklin Foer of The New Republic has pointed out, in College Republican elections, dirty tricks and double crosses are considered acceptable, even praiseworthy.
                Still, Mr. Reagan's misgovernment never went as far as Mr. Bush's. As a result, he managed to leave office with an approval rating about as high as that of Bill Clinton, who, as we now realize with the benefit of hindsight, governed very well. But the key to Reagan's relative success, I believe, is that he was lucky in his limitations.
                Unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Reagan never controlled both houses of Congress – and the pre-Gingrich Republican Party still contained moderates who imposed limits on his ability to govern badly. Also, there was no Reagan-era equivalent of the rush, after 9/11, to give the Bush administration whatever it wanted in the name of fighting terrorism.
                Mr. Reagan may even have been helped, perversely, by the fact that in the 1980s there were still two superpowers. This helped prevent the hubris, the delusions of grandeur, that led the Bush administration to believe that a splendid little war in Iraq was just the thing to secure its position.
                But what this tells us is that Mr. Bush, not Mr.Reagan, is the true representative of what modern conservatism is all about. And it's the movement, not just one man, that has failed."

        America 'Remembers' Ronald Reagan : [ a corrective to collective Alzheimer's ]

        by Paul Douglas Newman

        To remember Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest Presidents of the twentieth century, to replace FDR on the dime with Reagan's profile as Republicans wish to do, we are being asked to forget too much.

        • We are asked to forget Lebanon, where Reagan decided to "cut and run" after hundreds of Marines perished when a suicide bomber invaded their compound.
        • We are asked to forget El Salvador, where the right wing FMLN, armed with Reagan money, Reagan weapons, and Reagan military training from the School of the America's at Fort Benning, Georgia slaughtered more than 80,000 civilians in the "War on Communism."
        • We are asked to forget the Iran-Contra Scandal, an event that he evidently "could not recall" in response to more than one hundred questions during the Congressional hearings.
        • We are asked to forget the groundwork laid for nuclear disarmament by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon.
        • We are asked to forget the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties I and II.
        • We are asked to forget the re-freezing of the Cold War following the Nixon thaw, when Reagan bellicosely denounced the Soviets as the "Evil Empire," and then joked on his weekly radio address that our missiles were ready to launch.
        • We are asked to forget the silly invasion of Grenada following the Lebanon disaster, and the reversal of goodwill gestures made to the Caribbean made by previous administrations, including the return of the Panama Canal.
        • We are asked to forget the Soviet Union's internal move to Perestroika, a groundswell that occurred over decades resulting in a generation of new Communists by 1985 who were not manufactured by Reagan's bravado, but were products of the "Evil Empire."
        • We are asked to forget that Reagan presided over the worst recession since the Great Depression.
        • We are asked to forget the enormous cuts to social welfare programs and the Veterans Administration, moves that led to such an enormous rise in the homeless population, especially evident on the streets of Washington, D.C., that even comedians felt that they had to do something to stop the bleeding with "Comic Relief."
        • We are asked to forget the policies that enriched agri-business at the expense of small farmers, continuing the decline of the family farm to the point that recording artists were the only ones left to uphold the Populists' mantle with "Farm-Aid."
        • We are asked to forget that he slashed taxes for the wealthiest, raised taxes on the poor, and then bailed out the corrupt Savings and Loan industry at taxpayer expense.
        • We are asked to forget that his SEC presided over such a corrupt and over-inflated stock market that the Dow saw the largest one-day crash in its history, greater than in 1929.
        • We are asked to forget that Reagan's economic policies effected a reversal in the trend toward greater distribution of wealth begun by Progressive Republican, Democratic, and Socialist politicians in the early twentieth centuries, and have led us to the greatest concentration of wealth today since the days of Andrew Carnegie and James Pierpont Morgan.
        • We are asked to forget the enormous and outrageous military contracts, for which American taxpayers paid hundreds of dollars for nuts, bolts, and toilet seats, and the nation saw defense-spending rise to astronomical heights.
        • We are asked to forget the Reagan Administration's opposition to the Civil Rights movement, their blocking of busing programs and cuts to Head Start, programs designed to bring educational equality of opportunity to all Americans .
        • We are asked to forget that Reagan considered ketchup to be a vegetable in federal school lunch programs.
        • We are asked to forget "government cheese." (the program to buy surplus cheese from U.S. farmers to give away to the poor)
        • We are asked to forget jelly beans, splitting wood, bad B-movies, McCarthy-ite participation in Hollywood blacklisting.
        • We are asked to forget our history.
                  We are asked to forget, and forget, and forget.
                  And by the looks of the New York Times and Washington Post's memorials to the "Great Communicator,"  it appears that what historian Studs Terkel has referred to as "America's collective amnesia" is still acute.
        • Perhaps it is more serious than that.
        • Perhaps we have a national case of Alzheimer's Disease.
        • Perhaps our ability to remember relatively recent events has eroded, and our capacity for rational thought has diminished as well.
        • Perhaps we are becoming a danger to ourselves and others.
        • Perhaps we need admittance into a managed care facility for nations.
        • Perhaps we are "riding off into the sunset." How else do we explain our descent into Bushism?: our quick repetition of past economic and foreign policy blunders, our re-visitation of failed policies to solve current problems, our persistent dementia that results in trying the same things and expecting different results? As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, only management of the symptoms and provision of comfort until death.

        Hopefully Studs Terkel is right, and we've just suffered another blow to the head from which the American people will recover, and remember, and remember, and remember.
                Paul Douglas Newman  (paulnewman52868@hotmail.com)  is Associate Professor of American History at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PA .

        An "Unbiased Reporter" wrote the following :

        "For anyone who was there (the Reagan Years) and paying attention, :
                . . .  "However, I don't want to be all negative, Reagan did conquer Grenada.  A proud moment in American Military history.  Well, actually, the invasion of Grenada was meant to distract the simple-minded Americans who just watched Reagan bungle his invasion of Beirut, Lebanon, where over 200 marines were murdered by Reagan's trading partners, Hezbollah. 
                To the horror of the Republican Party, some of us remember.  The Joint Chiefs wanted our marines to be housed on our ships at sea, where they'd be safe.  But the Reagan White House thought it would "look better" if those brave men slept on land, instead.  This disastrous decision, made by political hacks at the White House and approved by the senile and confused president, over the objections of the Joint Chiefs, cost hundreds of brave men their lives.
                Can you imagine the years of endless hearings that Congressmen Dan Burton, Henry Hyde and the rest would have held if Bill Clinton had personally overruled the Joint Chiefs and gotten 220 marines killed because Sandy Berger thought it might "look better?"

        for much more on the horrendous policies of the Reagan administration, see
        thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/ReaganRevolution_Stockwell.html &
        this outstanding statistical analysis of
        Reagan policies, claims and results &
        this other great Reagan web site

        Take it from Stephen;
        there is much more where
        this came from, at my
        ITYS-Banner website ColbertToldUso.gif
        If ever you are moved to critique,
        support, or enlighten me,
        here's the way to do it :

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