Nancy Reagan has died at the age of 94. Is this the end of an era? I’m not so sure. Nancy and Ronald Reagan were a team. They seemed to play off each other. For years, Ronald Reagan worked on this image and worked on his platform. From the late ’50s Ronald Reagan was always trying to get the right message out there. I think that Nancy was his sounding board. She was the one whom he bounced ideas off of. At least this what I have read. The image of Nancy and Ronald has been so highly polished over the years that it is hard to know what is fact and what is fiction.
I would argue that without Reagan or a Reagan-like figure you couldn’t have a Donald Trump. Ronald would frequently say X, but mean Y. At least his aids would spend a great deal of time explaining what he really meant. It got so bad that America would ignore what Reagan said and go directly to the aides to figure out what new policy was being proposed.
Reagan (Ronald and Nancy) were really about image. They both looked presidential long before he was elected. He had the great looks and the easy-going manner. He had the ranch and that beautiful horse. If he wasn’t president …. this was what a president should look like. This was how a president should act.
Trump has taken this a step further. He isn’t about policies and white papers. He is about crafting the image of a winner. He is the winner even when he hasn’t won anything. He is crafting the image of the successful businessman in spite of the fact that he has had plenty of failures. Without Nancy and Ronald, there would be no Donald running for president.
Nancy Reagan has died. My heart and prayers go out to her family. May she rest in peace.
I find it funny that Texas government officials are falling all over themselves to let the residents of West, Texas know that they are large and in charge. I know that many in Texas and around the country believe with all of their hearts that the government is useless. The scariest thing is that old Ronald Reagan line, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Well, now, the good folks of West need help. They need someone to check the air quality and make sure that it is safe. Who’s going to do that? They need low-interest long- and short-term loans so that they can rebuild. Who’s going to do that? The town will need grants to rebuild infrastructure. This is where the government needs to step up and do their jobs.
Now, I don’t know what caused the explosion in West, Texas. I do know that for the most part plants do not spontaneously combust. Ammonium nitrate is the compound that was made at the West plant. This product is made by a simple chemical reaction. The chemical reaction gives off an enormous amount of heat.
Texas should be very aware of the dangers of ammonium nitrate. A vessel carrying tons of the material exploded in the Texas City harbor in 1947. 581 people died. This disaster resulted in one of the first class action lawsuits.
(I wrote this last month for the Urban News. Enjoy.)
I was all ready to follow up last month’s article with another one on the economy. I was going to spend a good deal of time revealing through solid data that austerity does not work. We can not cut our way to prosperity. In short, the Austrian austerity folks are wrong, as I’ll explain more next month. But for now, I would like to clear the air and address some of the lies, rumors, and misstatements that are dominating the news media.
Birtherism and Racism
A few weeks ago Mitt Romney “jokingly” stated, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we (my wife and I) were born and raised.” Mitt Romney’s statement got me thinking: Why would Barack Obama be hounded about his birth certificate and Mitt Romney isn’t? Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama had fathers who were born outside of the United States. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are highly educated. They both obtained advanced degrees from Harvard University. Yet, for some reason, it is okay to openly question Barack Obama’s origins, while it is automatically assumed that Mitt Romney was born right here in the good old USA. Is it impossible to believe that a black man could be born in this country, educated in this country, and rise to become President of the United States?
Our Bloated Government
Just the other day Sen. Rand Paul asserted that one of the reasons our economic recovery has been so slow is that we have a bloated government. According to this Kentucky optometrist, there are just too many people on the government payroll. This story plays into the Republican mantra – (paraphrasing Ronald Reagan’s famous line) that “The Government Is the Problem.” The truth is, if the government were to keep growing at the same rate it grew under George W. Bush, we would have 1.5 million more government employees. Just this simple act alone would push the unemployment rate below 7%. Over 600,000 government employees (federal, state and local) have been laid off during the Obama administration. This is a fact. A huge number of those layoffs have occurred in “red” states, where Republican legislators and governors slashed budgets and eliminated tens of thousands of teachers and other public employees – then, having deliberately increased their state unemployment rates, they blame President Obama and the Democrats in Congress for the loss of jobs. Continue reading Clearing the Air