Where Is Richard Nixon Now That We Need Him?

Since resigning in disgrace from the Presidency in 1974, Richard Nixon has symbolized the evil in politics and the rancid Republican Party. The Current Occupant of the White House and the recent joint press conference with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin calls to mind Nixon’s early time in the spotlight.

Back in the good old Cold War days, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aka Russia, took a small step in an attempt to warm diplomatic relations a bit. For a “cultural exchange,” the U.S. and U.S.S.R. each set up a national exhibition in the other’s country. Vice-President Richard Nixon traveled to Moscow for the opening of the US display in July 1959. As part of the ceremony, Richard Nixon took Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on a tour.

Nixon proudly showed off American lifestyle features like color television and automatic laundry equipment. Khrushchev sneered at the American technology and boasted Russia would soon have those gadgets. Nixon retorted that the U.S.S.R. should not be afraid of ideas, “After all, you don’t know everything.” The arguing escalated as they moved to a U.S. model home presentation. Nixon complained about Khrushchev’s constant interruptions. With rising voices and finger pointing, the two accused each other of making threats that could lead to war. Leonid Brezhnev, who succeeded Khrushchev a few years later, watched over Nixon’s shoulder.

The “Kitchen Debate” was broadcast on all three U.S. television networks. (Only edited and abridged parts of the argument reached Soviet citizens.) The confrontation raised Nixon’s profile and helped him gain the Republican nomination for president the following year. Unlike the current Russian president, Khrushchev claimed to have done everything he could to bring about Nixon’s defeat in 1960.

Richard Nixon is remembered and reviled for the Watergate scandal and general corruption in politics. He is also responsible for cognitive dissonance in liberal heads with the other part of his legacy: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Bob and Ray

If you are no longer amused by the idiocy of the current occupant of the White House, you may be ready for some of Bob and Ray’s political humor.

Remember Bob and Ray? Of course you don’t; you’re probably not old enough. Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding made their name in radio, beginning in 1946 with their earnest, dead-pan “news reporting.” They transitioned to a new medium with a fifteen-minute program on the nascent NBC television network from 1951 to 1953. Two decades later they appeared on the “Saturday Night Live” in its early days.

They made regular appearances with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” and later showed up on David Letterman’s late-night program.

Don’t you feel better, now?

Where Have You Gone D.B. Cooper?

D.B. Cooper is in the news again. New claims are being made about the identity of the man who was last seen Thanksgiving eve, 1971 aboard a Boeing 727 as it was flying over southwest Washington. He parachuted from the plane via its rear exit stairs, launching decades of debate about who he was and what was his fate.

Northwest Orient Airlines flight #305 began its itinerary in Washington D.C. on November 24, 1971. After stops in Minneapolis, Missoula, Great Falls and Spokane, the aircraft was boarding passengers in Portland for its final leg, a thirty-minute flight to Seattle.

Taking a seat near the rear was a middle-aged man conservatively dressed in a dark suit and tie under a white raincoat, carrying a black attaché case. He lit a cigarette and ordered a bourbon and soda. He had paid cash for his ticket at the Portland airport counter and, in those pre-TSA days, gave his name as Dan Cooper. Shortly after takeoff, he handed a note to a flight attendant that he had a bomb. He opened his attaché to show her red cylinders attached with wires to a battery.

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Stupid Old White People

Here’s something else to blame on Obama:

An African-American president urged action on climate change and signed the U.S. onto the 2015 international Paris climate agreement. The result? “A significant number of white Americans deciding that they were done believing in climate change.”

That’s according to Salil Benegal, a political-science professor at DePauw University. Benegal did a study that found American climate-change deniers tend to be older and white, have racist attitudes and – surprise – identify as Republican.

Before you get carried away about a political-science professor postulating on climate change… he’s not. He’s simply looking at correlations. He also found that these same people only believe what Republicans tell them about climate. Professor Benegal recently summarized his findings in the Washington Post.

Okay, so concurrence is not causation. This is just an interesting factoid.

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Lock ’em Up!”

The current occupant of the White House has an infatuation with presidential pardons. Sheriff Joe, Scooter, and possibly any number of other felons connected to his campaign. Concurrently, he relishes frothing up crowds with the chant, “Lock her up!” referencing the woman who received three million more votes than he in the last election.
Which brings us to former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Karl Rove and the depths to which Republicans will sink to gain power and subvert the electoral process.

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Requiescat in Pace Net Neutrality?

(The New Yorker)

The Federal Communications Commission has repealed the rules requiring Internet service providers to provide equal access to all web content, i.e. “net neutrality.”

A refresher from mic.com:

“Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should give consumers equal access to all legal content and applications without favoring or blocking particular sources. The overall goal is to provide everyone with equal access to the internet. By promoting a free and equal internet, net neutrality ensures that an ISP is not dictating what kind of content the consumer — meaning you — is accessing online.”

Continue reading Requiescat in Pace Net Neutrality?