Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday, Richard Nixon

Friday, March 22nd, 2012




My Dear America:

Last Saturday, March 15th, I was in my living room playing Remote Roulette trying desperately to find something interesting to watch on Television.  As I flipped through the channels suddenly I saw one of the C Span channels that caught my eye.  The C Span logo for the program that I found was "Happy 100th Birthday, Richard Nixon" or something akin to that.  The broadcast was initially recorded in January according to information on the screen and the Richard Nixon birthday party was taking place at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C..

Here I was, merely days after virtually attending the Common Cause sponsored "Lessons of Watergate" Conference Online, which reminded me not only how wrong things went during the "Watergate Scandal" but how after changes had been put in place to prevent abuses similar to Watergate, those changes had over time been watered down or done away with altogether.

In my opinion Richard Nixon was certainly one of the worst Presidents we have ever had, if not the worst.  Now here was this bizarre televised tribute to Nixon in a packed ballroom with lots of applause for Pat Buchanon who seemed to go on forever extolling the virtues of his former boss.  Following Buchanan was a barely literate Henry Kissinger also finding wonderful things to say about Tricky Dick.  A few moments of Kissinger was all I could stand and I looked for something else to watch, something less disturbing and weird.

I can't get it out of my mind, though, how it was even possible to get this many people together to sing the praises of Nixon at what was surely an expensive dinner and celebration, yet the turnout for the "Lessons of Watergate" was far fewer people and I am sure cost less to attend in person.

When Richard Nixon is being idolized anywhere in America something has gone terribly wrong.  I thank C Span  however for showing those of us who remember the criminal activity of the Nixon Administration that incredibly weird things are occurring in our country even outside of the House of Representatives.



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thank You Common Cause For All You Do

Thursday, March 14th, 2013



My Dear America:

I just finished watching what I understand to be the final presentation of the Conference sponsored by Common Cause titled "The Lessons Of Watergate."

The presentation was by John Nichols, a journalist for "The Nation."

Mr. Nichol's presentation, like all of those other presentations that I watched on my computer during the past two days, was interesting, exciting and very informative.  As a Watergate Junkie for many years I was struck by the number of Watergate Scandal involved individuals who were apparently attending the conference.  John Dean, Daniel Ellsberg, Richard Ben Veniste, William Cohen and Elizabeth Holtzman, just to name a few.  

There were many outstanding presenters and many incredible moments even for those of us who were not there in person.

I want to personally thank Common Cause and especially the Administrators and Staff of Common Cause for putting on a very worthwhile and interesting presentation for everyone who was there and for those of us who could only make it online.  I hope Common Cause is able to put the entire live stream broadcast on their website for people to enjoy the Conference for years to come.

Even more important to me than learning about Watergate was learning more about Common Cause and what those of us who call ourselves liberals or progressives owe this outstanding organization.  Common Cause has been in the forefront of advocating for the people of America who often times do not have anyone else standing up for them.  Common Cause has been advocating for you and I, America for a very long time and it appears will be continuing to be planning to do so for a lot longer.

I feel lucky that we all continue to have Common Cause looking out for us in the New World of Big Bucks Politics and little attention paid to to High Crimes and Misdemeanors involving our Political Leaders.

I learned some things from this outstanding Conference that I am sure will continue to stick with me over the years.  I learned that one of the possible reasons for some of the Nixon White House Plumbers burglaries might have been to find out in 1972 if Democrats were aware that Richard Nixon had convinced North Vietnam not to be involved in peace talks in 1968 until after Nixon won the White House.   That was a mind blower to be sure.

Another bit of information that blew my mind was the revelation that the Administration with the most legal prosecutions pressing reporters to reveal their sources using the threat of jail is the Obama Administration by a wide margin.

Neither of these startling bits of information can be designated good news but I believe that good or bad, Americans need to know and learn how to deal with the Truth and that, indeed, the truth truly shall make them free.

We in America have many problems, almost too many to fix.  The news we hear daily is mostly bad news, news stories showing how things are going from bad to worse.  Its a shame that we have to tolerate the bad news with the good but I am thankful that we have organizations like Common Cause that are truly looking out for us, for Americans of all Genders, Colors and Stations in Life.

Thank You, Common Cause for being there for us for so long, for putting on this Conference and for keeping the Democratic Ball rolling in these seriously strange and difficult times. 

All Americans who benefit from your Tenacity, your Courage and your Truth continue to support you and wish you well in all of your struggles.

Thanks Again.


Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Common Cause Conference on "The Lessons of Watergate" will be streaming on the Common Cause Website on Wednesday 3/13/13 and Thursday 3/14/13 from 9:15 AM til ?

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013





My Dear America:


I am pleased to report that even though I was not able to arrange to actually attend the Common Cause Conference on "The Lessons of Watergate" it appears that I will not completely lose out on participating in the conference because at least some of the presentations will be broadcast streaming online on the Common Cause website www.commoncause.org.  

I am pleased for many reasons to be able to take advantage of an online participation in this Conference for quite a few reasons.  It is difficult for me to comprehend the fact that it has been 40 years since The Watergate Scandal erupted and for several years preyed on you and I and our consciences, America until we were finally able to shake Richard Nixon off our backs and out of the White House like the barnacle on the ship of progress that he truly was.

I found myself in those bygone days in the 70's and paying a lot of attention to Watergate and especially the Senate Watergate Hearings while I was recovering from a very serious and life threatening operation.  I found that a way to write about my feelings concerning Watergate was similar to the way I am presently communicating with you, by way of writing letters to you, America, as if you were (are) a person with whom I can communicate. 

I gathered those letters to you about Watergate and later on wrote more letters to communicate about later instances of Watergate history, such as the final outing of Mark Felt as "Deep Throat," as well as the deaths of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.  All of those letters and other information about Watergate that I thought was significant have been included in my Watergate History, "Letters To A Lost Nation: A Watergate Chronicle," which is available as a Kindle book or a paperback book through Amazon.com and can also be bought through clicking on the image of the book's cover on this website.  I learned a lot through writing that book and continue to be interested in the topic of Watergate these 40 years later, after the fact.

Some of the lessons of Watergate that I have learned are the following:

When it comes to your Government, Executive and Legislative Branches:
Trust but Verify.

In the case of not only Watergate but probably every other Executive Branch and Legislative branch of Government that we have ever had, much secrecy and in some cases obvious criminality is going on behind the scenes and is being  covered up.   


When the Chips were down and we needed every branch of the Federal Government to be doing it's Job, the system eventually worked although it took awhile.

Although the wheels of justice turned at a snails pace in the case of Watergate, eventually, although Richard Nixon never spent a day in jail man,y of his henchmen did and in the end, largely through the efforts of the Senate Watergate Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Watergate Special Prosecutors, Judge Sirica and the Supreme Court, the system finally worked and we moved on from Watergate.


Politicians do not always do what is right for the people they represent and the American People need to do more to pay attention to and get involved in their government and not allow Politicians to do whatever they want without any consequences to bad decisions or bad behavior on their part.


Although I am sure that there are many other lessons to be learned from Watergate I will leave the rest up to others.


I urge whoever can arrange their schedules to do so, however, to join with Common Cause and if you can't attend "The Lessons of Watergate" in person at least attend online.

I am looking forward to watching and listening to such Watergate All Stars as William Cohen (Republican) and Elizabeth Holtzman (Democrat), both members of the House Judiciary Committee who voted articles of Impeachment against President Richard Nixon and finally caused Nixon to resign. 

Also the distributor of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg will be there.  Nixon and Company were so obsessed with Ellsberg that Nixon's black bag operations crew, "The Plumbers" broke into Ellsberg's Psychiatrist's office in Los Angeles to try to find dirt on him.  They were not successful in finding the dirt they were looking for. 

Richard Ben Veniste, one of the Watergate Special Prosecutor's Assistant Prosecutors will also be there with many other notables including Former Senator Russ Feingold.

I'm gearing up my computer right now and I am looking forward to what I believe will be a very interesting and inspiring Conference beginning tomorrow.



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sequestration: Fear and Loathing In The Halls of Congress - Just One More Month Until The Government Shuts Down Completely

March 1st, 2013



My Dear America:

Well its official now, or it will be in about an hour.

The Lunatics have finally taken over the Asylum, that Asylum being the United States Congress and we are about to enter the New World of Sequestration.

Sequestration is the result of Congressional "Negotiations" with the President when we had our debt ceiling debate and semi-crisis last year and with a gun to President Obama's head politically, the Congress set us on the road to Sequester.  

We have been told by numerous Republican Senators and Members of Congress that President Obama is blowing things out of proportion and that things won't be so bad when across the board cuts hit at 11:59 this morning.

Of course things won't be so bad for Senators and Congresspeople.  They have very wisely put into the Sequestration plan that they passed last year provisions that allow many other people, including their staff members, to be losing their jobs.  Amazingly enough, though, Senators and Congresspeople will still be receiving their salaries.  No wonder they don't feel that Sequestration will be so bad.  It will only be bad for those other people who do lose their jobs and salaries, not for Congress.  

Something else that the Republicans have kept under wraps is that with regard to government spending the Federal Government has actually been decreasing government spending levels over the past 4 years that President Obama has been in office.  You don't hear any Republicans advertising that fact.

Prior to Obama's Election, however, George W. Bush took us from a healthy Government Monetary Surplus left by President Clinton to near financial collapse and out of control debt by the beginning of the Obama Presidential Term.  Oddly enough Republican Deficit Hawks during the George W. Bush years were in short supply in the halls of Congress.  Paul Ryan voted Pro Bush all the way.  Only when Barack Obama took over did Representative Ryan see a darkness on the debt horizon.

Certainly we have a debt problem in this country, along with a jobs problem and many other incredible problems.  Sequestration is not going to help heal any of the problems we have.  It is going to aggravate our problems and when, as the Republicans have promised, the United States Government shuts down in a month we will then be looking at possibly bigger problems than it will be even possible to fix.

We all have to hope that the Lunatics come to their senses before it is too late to salvage anything from the rubble of a Republican controlled House of Representatives.

It's time to say a prayer people.

God Bless us all and God Save The United States of America and hopefully send some knowledge and common sense to the voters of America so that we can "Clean House" in a big and responsible way in the coming years.

Amen



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher