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June 1, 2005

Bring Back Dick

While we're on the subject of Watergate and Deep Throat, I just thought I'd point out a few interesting little tidbits. Shortly after Richard Nixon was re-elected Vice President in 1956, his brother Donald found himself upside down in a business selling "Nixonburgers". So, Tricky Dick phoned his friend, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, to ask them to bail Donald out. Hughes floated Donald a largely unsecured loan of $205K, and shortly thereafter, the IRS reversed itself and granted the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation tax exempt status. The waning days of the 1960 presidential election in 1960 found Nixon campaigning in San Francisco's Chinatown. Unbeknownst to the round eyes, the little oriental kids held up a banner in Chinese characters which read "What about the Huges loan?" and handed out fortune cookies with the message "Ask him about the hughes loan".

The Chinatown hijinks, and countless others, were perpetrated by Dick Tuck, a political rival of Nixon that plagued Nixon throughout his political career.

Nixon was Eisenhower's Vice President for 8 years(1953-1961), but Eisenhower was asked to name a decision Nixon had been responsible for in that time, he replied "Give me a week and I might think of something." Shortly thereafter, Republican Richard Milhouse Nixon narrowly lost the election to Jack Fitzgerald Kennedy.

In 1968, LBJ announced he wouldn't run for re-election. Robert Kennedy was assasinated by Sirhan Sirhan who somehow managed to fire more bullets than his gun would hold, and Nixon won the presidential election of 1968. The Watergate scandal that brought him down was his coverup of the breakin at Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in D.C. during the 1972 campaign. Nixon won re-election in the 1972 election, but then his presidency was brought down by the dogged reporting of two reporters at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. They were working with an inside informant that they refused to identify, that they referred to as "Deep Throat". Deep Throat has now been officially identified as Mark Felt, the second in command at the FBI.

When Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned, Nixon chose carefully when he was casting about for his replacement. Nixon appointed Gerald Ford vice-president, and then resigned, making Ford president. Ford turned around and pardoned Nixon of any and all federal crimes. Today, we know that Nixon's aides had spoken to Ford's aides and received assurances that he would be pardoned if he appointed Ford.

Upon the occasion of Nixon's death in 1994, following the style of H.L. Mencken's anti-eulogy of William Jennings Bryan, Hunter S. Thompson penned a vicious, lascivious obituary, which I have excerpted for the sake of brevity:

"He was a liar and a quitter...[snip]...a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family. [snip] As long as Nixon was politically alive--and he was, all the way to the end--we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger...[snip] If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin."

- Hunter S. Thompson

Posted by Peenie Wallie on June 1, 2005 at 10:00 PM


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