Have you noticed it’s the time for sanitizing one’s legacy. Two decrepit old political has-beens have just published books designed to make us all go, “Ah, bless ‘im, he really is a nice man, after all.”
I am, of course, referring to that evil mastermind of the George W Bush years, Dick Cheney: the true president, in all but name. His latest work, “Heart – An American Medical Odyssey” is, as they say, on the bookshelves.
Mike Lofgren, a one-time Republican staffer with twenty-eight years service in Washington, writing in his book, ‘The Party Is Over’, states:
…After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security was as much a legislative mess as it was an enduring monument to American gullibility and deliberately induced fearfulness. President Bush and his advisers, meaning Dick Cheney, did not want a cabinet department at first. Bush and Cheney preferred to keep homeland security functions under the executive office of the president, which would have made it free of legislative oversight…[p31][my bold]”
With his latest book, Cheney is trying to tell us he really does have a heart. He truly does, he purloined it from someone else who sadly wasn’t able to choose who got it.
In a recent interview with USA Today, when asked about President Obama’s ‘personal leadership, his political agenda and, especially, his handling of national security’, Cheney responded:
“His priorities are radically different from mine…I’d put defense first and foremost. The Constitution and the oath of office, the first thing you need to be focused on is defending the nation. All the highway money, food stamps and education, and everything else we like having the government do, don’t amount to a hill of beans compared to our inability to defend the nation.”
Defend the nation against whom, Mister Vice President? Eighteen Saudi Arabian religious nutters hell-bent on getting their own back for your invasion of their holy land? Perhaps if your citizens were properly educated to the real truth of American diplomacy…
…and properly fed, they’d force you to remove your US jackboots from Mecca out of respect for the cultures and beliefs of others.
And, how many hungry Americans today would give their right arm for your hill of beans?
Following in the ‘I’m really a Mister Nice Guy’ footsteps of Richard Bruce Cheney is the ex Chairman of the FED, Alan Greenspan. Now eighty-seven years old, Greenspan has just published his own book, “The Map and the Territory”…
In an interview on ‘The Daily Show’ this week Greenspan refuted any idea that he knew what the banks were up to prior to the economic crash of 2008. Does he really expect us to believe that?
Steven Pearlstein, writing in the Washington Post, succinctly makes the point…
What we find, however, is that Greenspan’s journey of discovery brings him right back to where he began — to an unshakable faith in free markets, an antipathy toward market regulation, and a conviction that progressive taxes and social spending are to blame for slow growth, stagnant wages and exploding deficits.
Those who have followed his career know that it was Greenspan who gave the green light to bank consolidation, Greenspan who pushed financial deregulation, Greenspan who advocated new global rules that would have reduced bank capital reserves and Greenspan who blocked efforts to crack down on abusive subprime lending. But if you are looking for him to accept any responsibility for the crisis that ensued, you will be sorely disappointed.
Here we have one of America’s top economists (if not, the top), who for thirty years was chairman and president of Townsend-Greenspan & Co., Inc., an economic consulting firm in New York City; has also served as corporate director of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa); Automatic Data Processing; Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.; General Foods; J.P. Morgan & Co.; Morgan Guaranty Trust Company; Mobil Corporation; and the Pittston Company (now ‘Brinks’, revenue $3.886 billion FY2011), has obviously hob-nobbed with top bankers and other aristocrats of the finance industry, yet has the gall to suggest he didn’t know what the banks were up to. Pull the other one, Mister Greenspan. Ayn Rand may have captivated your economic heart, but some of us are made of sterner stuff and less easily cajoled.
Incidentally, Alan Greenspan was also director of the Council for Foreign Relations from 1982 to 1988. A prominent member of that organization is Brian Williams, the $10,000,000/yr anchor and managing editor of NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ program.
A close associate of Williams, and one of NBC’s long-standing reporters and commentators, is Andrea Mitchell, probably best remembered for her ‘role’ in the ‘who outed Valerie Plame’ case.
It’s pure coincidence, of course, but Mitchell just happens to be the wife of Alan Greenspan.
What, you might ask, has that to do with anything?
Possibly nothing. But Brian Williams, the oh-so-perfect maestro of the tear-jerking sob-story Americans love so much, is constantly referring to NBC employees as members of ‘our great NBC family’, while refraining from any explanation as to just how far-reaching the branches of that ‘great NBC family’ truly are.
Well, the Big Daddy parent of the ‘Great NBC Family’ just happens to be the General Electric Company of America.
Yes, you’ve guessed it – the wealthy relative who makes really crap light bulbs, and even crappier nuclear power plants.[see previous post].
Small world, isn’t it?
My guess is there’ll be many more, as the years creep on, who’ll feel the need to sanitize their public legacies.
 “Cheney book documents his struggles with heart disease” USA Today, October 21st 2013
 “Alan Greenspan still thinks he’s right” Washington Post, October 18th 2013
 “Andrea Mitchell – Drunk Again?” FDL, March 13th 2007