Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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Most Scandalous Presidents

George Foster - March 29th, 2007
It seems like political corruption increases with each new presidential administration. Or could it be that noise from opponents is more deafening each term?
Lately, political junkies have been in heaven. It seems like a new political scandal breaks out almost every hour. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been treated to the following disclosures: Vice-Presidential aide Scooter Libby’s perjury conviction, the Walter Reed Hospital deficiencies in care for wounded soldiers, accusations of U.S. government funds being funneled to Sunni groups with terrorist ties, millions of Iraqis leaving war-torn Iraq for Syria and Jordan (our administration doesn’t acknowledge a refugee problem), the callous treatment of Iraqis who have put their lives on the line by working with the U.S. Government, word from some soldiers that the U.S. military is sending injured troops back to Iraq, Halliburton moving its headquarters to Dubai, the mid-term firing of U.S. attorneys for political reasons, and... whew, that’s enough for now.
Before getting too carried away, the scandals must be put in perspective. The following are the most corrupt presidencies to-date (in reverse order):
(10) John Adams. Just before leaving office, Adams created dozens of new judgeships by appointing judges loyal to his party. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
(9) Bill Clinton. Travel-gate, Haircut-gate, Lincoln bedroom, Whitewater and even Monica Lewinsky hardly seem worthy of scandal status compared to the recent scandals. Yet, Slick Willie still deserves a place on this list due to the continual claims of improprieties raised during his two terms.
(8) Andrew Johnson. Beside Clinton, the only other president impeached was Johnson. Acquitted by a single vote in the Senate, the real scandal was the Republicans who tried to punish the president for his lack of vindictiveness against the South.
(7) Thomas Jefferson. In the election of 1804, Jefferson’s opponents attempted to smear his name by accusing him of a love affair with a slave named Sally Hemmings. Jefferson dismissed his opponents’ tirades and won the election easily. Two hundred years later, DNA testing proved some of Hemmings’ descendents are, in fact, related to Jefferson.
(6) John F. Kennedy. Speaking of affairs, Kennedy earned a spot due to his incredible ability to rotate women in and out of the Lincoln bedroom without public suspicion until recent revelations.
(5) Warren G. Harding. Shortly after Harding moved into the White House, millions were stolen from the V.A. hospitals. His attorney general was soon implicated in fraud. In the famous Teapot Dome Scandal, Harding’s Interior Secretary received kickbacks for drilling on Federal lands. Most impressive of all, Harding reached this notorious position on the list despite serving only about two-and-a-half years as president.
(4) George W. Bush. As with Clinton, sheer quantity of scandals gives him a prominent place on this list. If it is eventually proved that lies launched the invasion of Iraq or that top Bush officials are responsible for illegal torture practices that have scarred the U.S. image abroad for generations, then this administration will easily leap-frog to number one on the list.
(3) Ulysses S. Grant. Maybe the greatest of U.S. military generals, Grant was one of our worst presidents. Financial kickbacks to Federal officials were commonplace. The Whiskey Ring Scandal siphoned off millions in taxes for Grant’s personal secretary. The Robber-Barons earned huge fortunes with openly corrupt business practices. Grant himself wasn’t greedy. His problem was gross incompetence.
(2) Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s administration allowed mid-level officials to launch major foreign policy initiatives and set up a secret army without any Congressional over-site. By allowing “arms for hostages” deals, the Teflon President placed the lives of Americans abroad in greater danger. The Iran-Contra Scandal rightfully resulted in convictions for several Reagan officials, but most were overturned by legal technicalities or presidential pardons.
(1) Richard Nixon. Only one self-evident word needs be uttered to describe the king of political scandals: Watergate. The break-in of the Democratic headquarters itself was a relatively minor case. The administration cover-up and other crimes found during the Watergate investigation led to jail terms for many administration officials. Nixon, of course, resigned in disgrace.


 
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