Monday, October 19, 2009

Personal Asides: Soon Todd Stroger Will Become an “Independent Democrat” and Go After the Daleys, Madigan and Quinn… Ronald Reagan Should Have Gotten the Nobel Peace Prize: Yes, Really!

Personal Asides: Soon Todd Stroger Will Become an “Independent Democrat” and Go After the Daleys, Madigan and Quinn… Ronald Reagan Should Have Gotten the Nobel Peace Prize: Yes, Really!

Todd Stroger.

The word in Democratic circles is that Todd Stroger will shortly certify himself as an “independent Democrat” and level criticism at the Daleys, Mike Madigan and Quinn. And why not? They’re arrayed against him and support the apple-cheeked Irishman Terry O’Brien for president of the Cook county board…counting on the fractionalized vote divided among the blacks they’ve recruited to grease the way for O’Brien to win. Racial politics? What is it when a multiplicity of African Americans are put up by the white power bosses—Madigan and the Daleys—to divide the black vote so that one of their own gets in? The liberal media only see race politics when Stroger gets 500 black ministers on his side—not racial politics at all when the Power Group recruits O’Brien to stand alone.

And what was it when lo and behold with Paul Vallas running heavily against Blagojevich with Vallas commanding a large chunk of African-Americans in the 2002 gubernatorial primary, suddenly Roland Burris entered the field and…whoopee!...received hefty bundles of dough to shatter Vallas’ black support? Therefore, Dem regulars, ask not where it started: it started with thee.

Ronald Reagan.

One more time: if the Nobel Prize were handed out objectively, who would get the nod? A recap in catechism form.

Q. Your views on whether Obama’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize was or was not political.

A. Are you kidding me? Of course it was. It was an anti-American salute made in expectation of favors to come from Obama—to continue his drive to put an end to American exceptionalism, apologizing for America and his presidential predecessors and weakening our stand in Afghanistan. It was also meant as another rebuke to George W. Bush. Thus far, Nobel prizes were awarded to his critics: Jimmy Carter and Al Gore and Mohamed ElBarsei, the director of IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] who believes that since Israel has the atom bomb, all Muslim nations should as well. The decisions reflect the preponderance of what I call Euro-trash: people from Western Europe who despise the U. S. The Prize hasn’t been relevant to peace since Mother Teresa won in 1979. So, now the Prize is equal to being the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Q. But isn’t it true that it will enhance Obama’s prestige throughout the world, enabling him to accomplish something?

A. I’ll tell you what it will enhance: his already robust narcissism. He is likely to trot up the steps to the stage in Oslo and engage in a solo rendition of “Dancing with the Stars.” And that’s the danger, really: spurring him to continue to please the Euro-trash by selling out American interests at every opportunity. In a very real sense, awarding it to Obama marks the formal end of comedic satire—since nothing more ludicrous can be stated.

Q. How long has the Prize been identified with the Left?

A. With some exceptions since 1906 when it was awarded to one of our most bellicose presidential adventurers, Theodore Roosevelt, who launched Big Stick diplomacy, defending his right to preemptively intervene in Latin America whenever we see something not to our interest (a radical extension of the sound Monroe Doctrine).

He got it for mediating the Russo-Japanese war—but really because Norway wanted to curry some brownie points with the U. S. Low-points: Al Gore for his global warming move, Yassir Arafat who rejected unprecedented Western overtures (98% of the land the Palestinians wanted, control over most areas of eastern Jerusalem and sole authority over the Temple Mount) because he wanted to continue warring. Another low-point came in 1973 when it went to the duo of Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam.

Q. Why?

A. After receiving his half of the Prize, Kissinger directed a new series of air-raids on Hanoi and Haiphong, the most intense bombing in world history: in 11 days 100,000 bombs were dropped on the two cities with destructive power equal to five times the power of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima…and Le Duc Tho along with National Liberation Front Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap continued to kill many thousands in conquering all of Vietnam. Le Duc Tho however declined his half of the Prize because he said he was going to continue to wage war. Kissinger took his half of the booty to the bank. Then, of course, you have the Prize awarded to Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, in 2001, who spent the last years of his term warding off responsibility for his son’s alleged benefiting from the Oil for Food program.

Q. You’re saying the Nobel Prize is given to those who diss America rather than promote peace?

A. Believe it. Let me give you an example. If they were fair, do you know whom they should have picked for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987?

Q. Who?

A. Ronald Reagan.

Q. That old hard-liner whom the media said wanted to blow

everybody up?

A. Listen to me. In the middle of the Summit at Reykjavik, Iceland on October 12, 1986, Reagan…against all the advice of his staff, State Department and Defense Department, faced Mikhail Gorbachev and made this proposal “…that by the end of two five-year periods, all nuclear devices would be eliminated, including bombs, battlefield systems, cruise missiles, submarine weapons, intermediate-range systems and so on.” It stunned his staff, Gorbachev and his staff. Essentially it was an offer to rid the world of nuclear weapons—something no other world leader had proposed.

Q. Fascinating. What did Gorbachev say?

A. Gorbachev was excited. He said, “We could say that—list all those weapons.” Reagan then restated it clearly: “If we agree that by the end of the 10-year period, all nuclear weapons are to be eliminated, we can turn this agreement over to our delegations in Geneva so that they can prepare a treaty which you can sign during your visit to the U. S.” To which Gorbachev responded with a smile, “Well, all right. Here we have a chance for an agreement.” Reagan had long spoken publicly of abolishing all nuclear weapons. Earlier, he had even volunteered to share with the USSR our SDI i.e. the Strategic Defense Initiative which would use ground and space-systems to protect us from missile attack. That over-generous offer gave his State and Defense people, leading conservatives in the U. S. and—for one insignificant minor league example, me, a bad case of heartburn.

But back to the meeting.

They broke for lunch but when they came back, Gorbachev, who had consulted with his staff, had qualms. He asked: “What about your SDI? Is this included?” Meaning: would we dismantle ours? Reagan said no, stated again that we would share our knowledge with them but for future development we would continue to experiment on it in our laboratories and conduct tests. Then Gorbachev waved his arms and thundered “nyet!” He said bluntly, “Let’s end it here. What you propose is something we cannot go along with. I’ve said all I can.”

Reagan was incredulous. He said, “Are you really going to turn down a historic opportunity for agreement for the sake of one word [laboratory] in the text?”

Gorbachev adamantly repeated: no deal. Reagan angrily arose from the table, jerked a thumb to Secretary of State George Shultz and said, “let’s go, George.” Gorbachev’s foolish intransigence ended the conference. The full story is told with the quotes I have used in the brilliant new book, The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counter-Revolution by Steven F. Hayward [Crown Forum: 2009].

Nevertheless, the Soviets were divided and, in fact, demoralized by the offer. While Reagan felt the Summit was a failure, it was Mikhail Gorbachev, strangely enough, who felt otherwise, saying “…Reykjavik is not a failure. It is a breakthrough which allowed us for the first time to look over the horizon.”

In fact Reagan’s offer of total nuclear disarmament got him into trouble not just with the conservatives of this country—Human Events and all the rest of the Cold Warriors but also with Margaret Thatcher who was bitterly angry at not being consulted. Richard Viguerie said what he always does when a Republican president is in: “We’ve been wrong about this guy [Reagan] all along!”

. The number two Republican in the U. S. House, Rep. Dick Cheney (R-Wyoming) called up George Shultz and said, “what the hell happened in Reykjavik, George?” Richard Nixon was aghast and angered at Reagan’s innocent offer and said so in his book 1999: Victory Without War. I must acknowledge as a former press secretary to Rep. Walter H. Judd (R-Minn.) who was ranking Republican on Foreign Affairs, one of the Cold War’s principal and most principled defenders, I was with them.

Most conservatives feared Reagan’s Zero Option, leading to destroying all our missiles and sharing SDI with the USSR would upset the MAD balance and the Russkys would cheat. Most Cold War conservatives, had become at ease with MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction). You remember that funny 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Grew to Love the Bomb? Nevertheless, the offer shook the Russians and gave them the unsettling feeling that they could never, ever, compete with us in the economic sphere or military one. Thus there was a weakening.

A short time later a top Soviet scientist signaled a major remorse about Gorby’s turndown in the Kremlin: The Washington Post headline told it all:


Notwithstanding the Soviet rejection, the Cold War as on the way to winding down—thanks to SDI and the bold offer, not checked earlier with his staff, by Ronald Reagan.

In the sweep of history, Reagan won the Cold War by doing several things: building up our defenses, calling the USSR “an evil empire,” and pushing SDI which the Soviets knew inwardly they couldn’t compete with. Understand, I still think that at Reykjavik he was far more generous than he should have been but his efforts should have mandated the Nobels to give him the Prize because his actions were a forerunner to our victory in the Cold War which ended the two-nation nuclear standoff. But Reagan didn’t get the prize and never was offered it. He didn’t fit the anti-American, non-patriotic image that pleased and still pleases the Euro-trash.

Q. Wow! How did the Nobel people keep a straight face by ignoring him?

A. Easy for them: ideologues all. Gorbachev, who blew the chance to scrub all nuclear weapons between us and the USSR won it in 1990: he met the anti-U.S. style of the Nobel Lefties. Imagine: the guy who rejected Reagan’s offer to scrap all nukes became the winner of the Nobel prize and the guy who made the offer—Reagan—was passed up. That tells you much about the blindness and abject partisanship of a group that awarded the Prize to Obama…whose name was submitted only 10 days after his inauguration…for doing nothing—utterly nothing—except criticizing us to the Euro-trash and 3rd World.

Q. Well, will Obama be able to use the Prize which is revered by liberals and the media to win reelection in 2012? And carry the Democrats he campaigns for to victory in 2010?

A. Take 2010 first. The “prestige” of the Prize is not likely in 2010 because with voters today there’s only one major issue and it’s not foreign policy. As the Quinnipiac poll taken last week shows, people place the economy topmost as 42%, above health care which is at 18%. That’s because last week there were 521,000 new claimants for unemployment insurance and unemployment is near 10%. When you also calculate all the part-time workers who would like to work full-time and can’t get hired and the people who have just plain given up seeking work whose unemployment insurance has run out, economists at the University of Maryland say that real unemployment is nearly 17%. This means that while some analysts insist the recession is bottoming out, it’s a jobless recovery which is bad news for 2010.

Q. Good as that may be for Republicans, Obama doesn’t run until 2012. How does it look for him?

A. Hey, I’m not a genius so I can’t compute what’ll happen so far down the road as 2012. I will say this: he may be lucky to get the recession out of the way by 2010 even if he has to suffer the loss of the Democratic Congress—which may well happen. Presidents who are lucky and face recessions, want to get it over with early in the first term. That happened to Reagan who was hurt in the midterms of 1982 but by 1984 was reelected. Carter and Bush the First were not so lucky and had their recessions later so both were defeated for reelection.

Q. And the falling dollar?

A. Because we increased the deficit with the $787 billion stimulus which so far isn’t working and will continue to do so with spending that involves whatever will be called “Health Care,” the weakening dollar was the biggest story in the world economy last week—and will stay as such for weeks to come. Any currency’s value is calculated by the supply and demand of that currency. The fact is that now there is a greater supply of dollars than there is global demand for them. The dollar supply is the especial preserve of the Federal Reserve. Since last September’s job fall-off was significant, the question arises: will the Fed continue to flood us with more dollars well into 2010. The real problem will come to fruition if the fall of the dollar turns into a panic which will cause a steep hike in commodity prices including oil (traded in dollars) and skyrocketing currency markets would create economic uncertainty leading to widespread currency devaluations by other nations.

Q. I’m looking for good news! Well, what’s happening on ObamaCare? I see the Baucus plan was approved by Senate Finance t after its “conceptual” description was “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office which found it’s within our ability to pay because it would purportedly cut the federal deficit by $81 billion over the next decade. Good news, no?

A. As you know, a bill passed the Senate Finance committee 14 to 9—but it wasn’t a bill but a draft of conceptual language. While it wasn’t covered by the media much, the CBO warned that “conceptual language” can be misleading and actual language can well result in “significant changes” in its scoring. One reason may be taxes. There’s a tax on high-cost insurance plans which totals $210 billion plus the nanny state’s penalty on Americans for not having health insurance ($27 billion). The “conceptual” language sloughs off on the states higher Medicaid spending and the assumption that future Congresses will cut $400 billion off Medicare which, given Congress’ track record, is highly unlikely. Higher costs for the pharmaceutical industry will mean as result of a pass-through, sharply higher costs for the insured, higher costs for drugs, for stents and other medical devices as well as for diagnostics. But the central fact is the faulty assumption that the Congress will cut $400 billion from Medicare.

Q. But the fact remains that conceptual language or not the CBO gave it its blessing.

A. But as the CBO recognized but the media have not played it sufficiently is this: The paying is front-loaded and the benefits back-loaded. Which means that in order to make it come out under $900 billion, the fees and tax hikes are up front but the universal coverage part doesn’t occur until 2013. Thus it pretends that over ten years it will cost, say, a trillion dollars when only five years of it will be implemented.

Q. You’re just determined to be dissatisfied, aren’t you?

A. No, I’m just determined to keep you from fooling yourself when a draft of conceptual language not exact legislative language is submitted to the CBO and that through legislative tricks there is a half decade of benefits and a full decade of expenditures to show it’s budgetarily sound when it will blow a gigantic hole in the budget. But remember that the real Senatorial deal will be worked out later between the Democrats exclusively: Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the Finance chairman; Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, of the Banking committee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [Nev.] Remember, too, the American people have decided they don’t want any liberal universal health care.

Q. But-but, overall, you see a chance that there could be a change in the presidency with the elections in 2012?

A. Yes—but.

Q. Yes—but what? Tell me! I’m dying to know!

A. “Dying to know” is the right phrase. Yes—if there’ll still be a United States of America in 2012 …and if we can elect someone to help us save what’s left of it.

Q. What a downer! Is that all the hope you can give me?

A. `Fraid so.

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