president nixon

Hey guys, do you mind if I ask you something unrelated to languages? I’m studying for an exam and I would like to ask my American followers a question. Could you please share with me what impressions you have about presidents Nixon, Carter and Reagan? With this I mean both what you personally think and what the Americans at large think about them. It’s not actually related to the exam I have to take, it’s more of a personal curiosity. Thank you in advance!

He was a far more complex and devious man than most people realized, and in the best sense of those words…His mind was quick and facile. His thoughts far outraced his speech and this gave rise to his frequent ‘scrambled syntax’ which more perceptive critics should have recognized as the mark of a far-ranging and versatile mind rather than an indication of poor training in grammar.
—  Former Vice President Richard Nixon, on President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s personality and temperament, Six Crises (BOOK | KINDLE), 1962 
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Trump’s Comey firing reminds many of Nixon’s 1973 Saturday Night Massacre

  • On Tuesday, President Donald Trump unceremoniously fired FBI Director James Comey, the man who happened to also be investigating his administration’s ties to Russia.
  • Almost immediately after news broke that Comey was out of a job, social media users began comparing it to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” where he too fired the man investigating his administration.
  • In 1973, Nixon was being investigated by a special prosecutor named Archibald Cox as part of an ongoing probe into the Watergate scandal, the Washington Post reported earlier this year. 
  • On Saturday, October 20 of that year, Nixon fired Cox and later accepted the resignations of his Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus, in what the Post at the time called “the most traumatic government upheaval of the Watergate crisis.” Read more (5/9/17) 

Donald Trump will follow up firing James Comey by meeting Russia’s top diplomat

  • President Donald Trump will meet with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday — less than 24 hours after he fired FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating the Trump campaign’s much-rumored ties to the Russian government.
  • According to a White House release, Lavrov and Trump will be convening in the Oval Office at 10:30 a.m. for a closed-door meeting. Read more (5/9/17)

Despite all of the power and trappings of the American Presidency, this simple letter to the Secretary of State is all that the law requires for the President of the United States to resign his office. Richard Nixon became the first and, to date, only President to give up his office when he submitted his resignation letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger exactly 41 years ago today.

Things Said/Heard at Rocky Horror Rehearsal

Note: due to the nature of RHPS, a lot of these are somewhat risque, albeit in a sorta cracky way. Nothing here has to lead to direct NSFW, but doing so would be pretty easy. (So’s Janet!)

  • “It’s okay. My lungs are still in my body. I’m good.”
  • “I have plans for your fake dick.”
  • “It doesn’t matter! Nothing matters! Just form a kickline!”
  • “Please yourselves. Not literally. At least, not on stage.”
  • “This is why we keep the feather boas in quarantine.”
  • “You- you’re a lot. I like you.”
  • “This is when you start to get groovy.”
  • “I could kiss you. I could marry you. I could buy you ice cream.”
  • “IT’S WEDNESDAY NIGHT. WHO’S READY TO GET SLUTTY?”
  • “Shit, I thought this was water polo practice.”
  • “Biochemical research gets me so hot.
  • “This is the weirdest aerobics session I’ve ever seen.”
  • “I claim my prize.”
  • “I haven’t been this aroused since Nixon was president.”
  • “Where are the horses? I thought there would be horses.”
  • “I need you to channel your inner vodka aunt. I need you to channel your inner 10,000 vodka aunts.”
  • “Make it weirder. I know it’s weird. But make it weirder.”
  • “You’re, like, a sex god. You’re like a Nobel Prize winner sex god.”
  • “I like to approach all my problems crotch-first.”
  • “Okay, who here knows the Funky Chicken?”
  • “I’m so proud of you. You’re going to make me cry.”
  • “Anyone have a tampon?”
  • “Anyone have a hair band?”
  • “Anyone have any idea what’s going on?”
  • “There will be no actual nudity and no actual murder-cannibalism- at least, if everything goes according to plan.”
  • “Where’s the glitter and why is everyone sober?”
  • “Don’t worry about me. I’m having a good time.”
  • “You fuck with my boas, I will fuck with you.”
  • “It’s all cool. Nothing is on fire. Yet.”
  • “We’re allowed to step on you if you’re in the way.”
  • “OH SHIT MY TITS ARE OUT”
  • “I’m glad that we dream about each other in the worst possible ways.”
  • “It’s awful. I love it.”
  • “You. Me. Selfie. Now.”
  • “Feel this fabric. Now imagine it rubbing against your nipples. Frantically.”
  • “We are not responsible for any weird boners you may get this evening.”
  • “You guys, I just- I just love you so much. I’m so happy. You guys.”
Can you imagine what this man could have been had somebody loved him? Had somebody in his life cared for him? I don’t think anybody ever did, not his parents, not his peers. He would have been a great, great man had somebody loved him.
—  Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, on Richard Nixon, in an interview with TIME’s Hugh Sidey
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Marcus Scribner of ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ is taking action to protect the environment

I’m sometimes asked why I’m so passionate about environmentalism, and my answer is always pretty straightforward. As a Los Angeles native, clean air to breathe and water to drink are two things I don’t take for granted. I’m 17, but I grew up hearing the horror stories about what the city used to be like: Downtown Los Angeles smothered in a cloud of smog so toxic that students had to wear masks outdoors and drink water from wells contaminated with industrial pollution.

We still have a long way to go before everyone gets the clean water and air we deserve. But I’m proud of the progress my city has made. And that progress didn’t magically happen — it came, in part, because of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A lot of people, and young people in particular, might not know much about the EPA, so here’s quick history lesson: In 1970, President Richard Nixon – a Republican — signed into law legislation that established the EPA. Back then, there was overwhelming support to protect our environment (and considering just how awful environmental pollution was back then, it’s easy to see why.) Republicans and Democrats came together to pass some of the most ambitious environmental legislation ever. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, for example, are just two of the many important laws that EPA enforces to protect human health and the environment.

Today, many people my age might assume it was always like this: that clean air and water have always been seen as a right, essential for everyone. We never saw rivers literally on fire, because they were so full of highly flammable pollution. We never saw smog so thick it billowed over cities like a fog. That is what the United States was like when my mom and dad were kids.

Continuing the progress EPA is making to clean up our country is common sense. But you may have heard not everyone in Washington feels the same way. There are some elected representatives who claim that protecting the environment must come at the expense of prosperity.

But this could not be further from the truth. There are now more Americans employed in the solar industry than there are in the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined — and in 41 states plus Washington, D.C., clean jobs outnumber those in the fossil fuel industry. The clean energy revolution will continue and its benefits will be felt beyond those who are securing jobs.

But President Donald Trump is following through on his pledge to reverse much of the progress made under President Barack Obama. Through executive orders, the Trump administration has started to dismantle many protections that are designed to cut dangerous emissions from power plants, cars and trucks and the oil and gas sector.

To make matters worse, Trump also proposed to eliminate the EPA office responsible for coordinating environmental justice programs in its entirety. Vulnerable communities from Flint, Michigan, to Spartanburg, South Carolina, have much to lose if these unconscionable cuts become reality. Mustafa Ali, who recently resigned as head of EPA’s Environmental Justice office, said it best: that to protect public health and the environment is to “make the American dream a reality for all.”

I know many young people question whether they can have an impact on the direction of our country. Believe me, I understand as well. But I know that even in these uncertain times, we can rise up and make our voices heard to our elected leaders. With the March on Science and the People’s Climate March happening on consecutive Saturdays, young people around the world are letting us know that they want to be heard.

It’s a personal mission of mine to make sure the old days never come back — it’s why I work with Defend Our Future, a campaign empowering millennials to take action to protect the environment. Defend Our Future is making it as easy as possible for you to get in touch with your elected representatives. Please take a few minutes to send your senators and representatives a message. Let them know that you want them to protect EPA and our health. Even though I can’t vote yet, I have already reached out to my local representatives, and encourage you to do so as well, because together, we can and must defend our future.

— Marcus Scribner. Marcus Scribner plays Andre Jr. on ABC’s “blackish.” He is an honor student and has been honored with the Peabody Award, multiple NAACP Image Awards and several Emmy nominations.

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First 100 Days: Trump and the Degradation of the Presidency

Trump’s failure to accomplish little or any of his agenda during his first 100 days shouldn’t blind us to the vast harm he has done in this comparatively short time to our system of government, especially his degradation of the presidency.

From early in the Republic, we have looked at the office of the president as a focal point for the nation’s values. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts exemplified for generations of Americans the moral authority of the highest office in the land. It is not merely what these men accomplished, but how they did it; not just their policies but their positive effects on the institutions of democratic governance.

True, many of our presidents have fallen short of those ideals. But our disappointments in those individuals reflected the high expectations we have had for those who hold that office.

Yet under Trump, the moral authority of the presidency has all but disappeared.

I’m old enough to recall when John F. Kennedy invited the world’s great artists, writers, and philosophers to dine at the White House. The nation felt ennobled. 

Donald Trump invites Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, who once called President Obama a “mongrel,” and we feel sullied.

But it has not just been Trump’s vulgarity.

There have also been Trump’s lies – blatant, continuous, and unsubstantiated even after the lack of evidence has been pointed out repeatedly. 

They are not just any lies, but lies that deepen Americans’ suspicion of one another and undermine our confidence in our system of government – such as his repeated contention that “three to five million” people voted illegally in the last election, or that Obama spied on him during the campaign.

Prior presidents have embellished the truth and on occasion have lied about a particular important thing, such as the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But never before Trump have we had a president who chronically lies, whose lies have become an integral part of his presidency even in the first 100 days.

There is also Trump’s vast family business, from which he continues to benefit even though the decisions he makes in office affect what he earns, and the almost certain decisions by foreign governments to curry favor with him by bestowing benefits on his business. 

Trump shrugs off such conflicts – even refusing to release his tax returns, even inviting his daughter and son-in-law, each with their own businesses and conflicts of interest, to join him at the highest reaches of the White House.

Some presidents have profited from their presidencies after they leave office through large speaking fees and book contracts. But never before Trump have we had a president for whom conflicts of financial interest during his presidency are so flagrant yet ignored.

The first 100 days has also been marked by Trump’s divisiveness – turning Americans against each other, legitimizing hatefulness toward Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans and African-Americans, fueling violence between his supporters and his opponents.

We have had divisive elections before. But after them, other presidents have sought to heal the wounds. Even after the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln famously asked us to come together without malice. 

Trump, by contrast, has fomented the warring camps – calling his opponents “enemies,” suggesting they are plotting against his administration, and staging rallies to encourage and fuel his bedrock supporters.

We have also seen Trump’s cruelty – toward refugees, undocumented immigrants, and the poor among us. He has issued a budget that would deeply harm the least advantaged Americans, and supported a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would also hurt those most in need.

He has refused asylum to refugees at a time when the world faces the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and unleashed immigration enforcers on 11 million residents of the United States, many of whom have been productive members of their communities for years. He has even deported people who have been here since childhood and know know no other nation.

Other presidents have on occasion been cruel. But Trump’s cruelty has defied reason. It is utterly unnecessary.

There has also been Trump’s affect on the rest of the world – legitimizing crude nationalism and hateful xenophobia. He has promoted France’s Marine Le Pen and encouraged authoritarians such as Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, while at the same time confusing our democratic allies and friends.  

Finally, there is Donald Trump himself – who in the first 100 days as president has shown himself to be narcissistic, xenophobic, paranoid, vindictive, and thin-skinned; who takes credit for the work of others and blames others for his own failings; who lashes out at the press and journalists when they criticize him, and who demonizes judges who disagree with him.  

We have before had presidents whose personality defects harmed their presidencies and tainted the office of the president, such as Richard Nixon. But Donald Trump is in a different league altogether. He exhibits the opposite of every civic virtue ever encouraged in our school rooms, town halls, and churches.

The first 100 days is an artificial landmark for presidents. But it does offer an opportunity to pause and assess what they have done. Too often, though, we think in the narrow gauge of policies and legislation.

With Trump, it’s important to think more broadly. Among the most significant legacies of his first 100 days is his degrading of the moral authority of the office of the president, and, thereby, of America.