Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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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