Ronald Reagan - The Bonzo Years


Secretary of the Interior William Clark resigns.

Lawyers for Ed Meese, who has been renominated for Attorney General, reveal that the Office of Government Ethics found him in violation of federal ethical standards.

UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick informs President Reagan that she is leaving.

Sen. William Cohen and Sen. William Roth reveal that the Navy has been paying $640 each for toilet seats that sell to consumers for $25.

At his 28th press conference, President Reagan says he is not seeking the overthrow of the Sandinista regime - he'd be satisfied "if they'd say 'uncle'" to the contras and abdicate.

The Senate confirms Ed Meese as Attorney General.

Defending the President's decision to abolish the Small Business Administration, David Stockman is shown a two-year old tape of Reagan praising the agency. "We at the White House," says Stockman, "have come to enjoy watching old films of the President."

In an effort to wind contra aid, President Reagan says the Nicaraguan rebels are "the moral equival of our Founding Fathers." Historical novelist Howard Fast calls this "an explosion of such incredible ignorance that...he is not fit for public office of any kind."

Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan resigns after being ordered to stand trial on fraud and larceny charges.

At his 29th press conference, President Reagan explains that he has no intention of visiting a concentration camp site during his upcoming visit to West Germany. To do so, he explains, would impose an unpleasant guilt trip on a nation where there are "very few alive that remember even the war, and certainly none of them who were adults and participating in any way." A soldier who was twenty in 1940 would only be 65 at the time this was said.

Deputy White House Chief of Staff Michael Deaver is asked, in light of his announced intentions to step down, if he has any plans to write a White House memoir. "Never, never," he says. "You can't take a special relationship of trust and then do a kiss-and-tell book."

The White House announces that President Reagan will lay a wreath at the Bitburg, West Germany, military cemetery housing the graves of both American and Nazi soldiers. It is quickly noted that there are, in fact, no Americans buried there.

As the contra aid vote approaches, President Reagan claims he "just had a verbal message delivered to me from Pope John Paul, urging us to continue our efforts in Central America." The Vatican quickly issues a denial.

While Michael Deaver is in West Germany searching for an "appropriate" concentration camp for the President to visit, President Reagan defends his visit to Bitburg by claiming the German soldiers "were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps."

President Reagan defends the Bitburg visit as "morally right," adding, "I know all the bad things that happened in that war. I was in uniform for four years myself." President Reagan spent his time during World War Two in Hollywood, making training films.

After having visited the Bergen-Belsen death camp, President Reagan makes an eight minute stop at Bitburg. During the ceremony, he cites a letter from 13-year-old Beth Flom who, he claims, "urged me to lay the wreath at Bitburg cemetery in honor of the future of Germany." In fact, she urged him not to go at all.

Opponents of President Reagan's Nicaraguan policies heckle him at the European Parliament. "They haven't been there," he says. "I have." In actuality, he had not been there.

Micheal Deaver resigns.

David Stockman observes that if the Securities and Exchange Commission had jurisdiction over the way the executive and legislative branches of government have handled the deficit, "many of us would be in jail."

David Stockman resigns as Budget Director to take a job on Wall Street and write his White House memoir.

President Reagan tells an interviewer that the "reformist administration" of South African president P.W. Botha has made significant progress on the racial front. "They have eliminated the segregation that we once had in our own country," says the President, "the type of thing where hotels and restaurants and places of entertainment and so forth were segregated - that has all been eliminated."

The White House confirms reports that during his days as head of the Screen Actors Guild, President Reagan doubled as an FBI informant (T-10) whose area of expertise was Communist influence in post-World War II Hollywood.

In response to questions as to whether President Reagan actually thinks racial segregation has been eliminated in South Africa, Larry Speakes said "Not totally, no."

The New York Times Magazine runs a cover story on "The Mind of the President", in which it is pointed out that though Reagan "likes to say...that he is a 'voracious reader' and 'history buff'...neither he nor his friends, when asked, could think of particular history books he had read or historians he liked." Says a White House aide, "You have to treat him as if you were the director and he was the actor, and you tell him what to say and what not to say, and only then does he say the right thing."

"He's just so programmed. We tried to tell him what was in the bill but he doesn't understand. Everyone, including Republicans, were just shaking their heads." - Rep. Mary Rose Oskar (D-OH) on President Reagan's reaction to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings balanced budget bill.

John Poindexter becomes President Reagan's fourth National Security Adviser when Robert McFarlane resigns.


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