Nixon on Abortion; Reagan on the Saturday Night Massacre

While George W. Bush was probably the worst, there have been problems with other Republican presidents. Newly released tapes provide more information on both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Nixon feared that legalized abortion would increase “permissiveness,” but did see some exceptions where he believed abortion was necessary:

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding: “Or a rape.

Ronald Reagan backed Nixon on the Saturday Night Massacre:

Nine months later, after Nixon precipitated the resignations of two top Justice Department officials and forced the firing of the special prosecutor looking into the Watergate affair, Ronald Reagan, who was then the governor of California and would later be president, told the White House that he heartily approved.

Reagan told the White House that the action — which would become known as the “Saturday Night Massacre” — was “probably the best thing that ever happened — none of them belong where they were,” according to a Nixon aide’s notes of the private conversation.

Factcheck Reports Misinformation In Ads Backing Public Plan

I have had many posts about misinformation being spread about health care reform. Such misinformation most often comes from opponents of reform on the right, but I have also noted examples of misinformation from the left. Factcheck. org has noted some misinformation being spread by two liberal groups promoting a public plan. Their post corrects misinformation in ads from Health Care for America and from MoveOn.

Liberty University Backs Down On Favoring Republican Club

Last month there were reports that Liberty University had banned the Democratic Club. Americans United for Separation of Church and State complained to the IRS as Liberty, a tax-exempt institution, was providing funding for the Republican Club. Liberty University has backed down:

Americans United for Separation of Church and State reacted quickly when word spread recently that officials at Liberty University had revoked university recognition of a student Democratic Party club.

AU, noting that recognition and funding were still being extended to a Republican club on campus, asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the matter. Liberty University, as a tax-exempt institution, could not lawfully favor one party over another, Americans United asserted.

Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. went ballistic. He even accused AU of being partisan and ordered his legal lackeys to draft a phony complaint to the IRS.

But now it turns out that Falwell is essentially admitting that we were right all along and agreeing that the university has an obligation to treat both clubs equally.

Falwell has announced a new policy at Liberty. Under its terms, both the Republican and Democratic clubs will be considered “unofficial.” Such clubs can use the university’s name but won’t receive any funding.

The students who run Liberty’s Democratic club say they think the compromise could work. Americans United considers the new policy a big step in the right direction but intends to keep an eye on the situation.

The one thing we’ve learned over the years about the Falwells is that they don’t always keep their word. They are quite capable of saying one thing and doing another, so we’ll remain on alert.

Ed McMahon Dies At 86

McMahon Carson

There is a second transition in the history of The Tonight Show this month, following Conan O’Brian taking over from Jay Leno as host. Ed McMahon, sidekick to Johnny Carson for thirty years, died this morning. The cause of death was not reported but McMahon reportedly had multiple health problems the last few months

What a Bore (Jon and Kate Take A Break)


With promises of a major announcement, I sat through an entire episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 for the first time on Monday. What a bore. Is this a “reality show” or a product placement scheme? If a highly hyped episode in which their divorce was announced managed to be this boring, I can’t imagine watching a regular episode.

I imagine if the two couldn’t even manage to talk to each other to agree on the location of play houses for the kids then the two of them probably shouldn’t be together.

Update: They purchased four custom crooked playhouses. Their custom playhouses usually start at $5000 each! If anyone wants a reality show about a normal couple raising eight kids, this is not the show to watch. (In this case I don’t know how much was paid for the product placement and what, if anything, they cost Jon and Kate.)

Update 2: Last night’s episode had the show’s highest ratings ever with 10.6 million viewing–a remarkable number for such a cable show. This beat all the shows on broadcast television. Just like Jon and Kate, the show is taking a break and there won’t be a new episode until August 3. This will give them time to figure out how to do the show despite Jon and Kate barely speaking to each other. Next week there will be a clip show, which you couldn’t pay me enough to sit through.

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