The Bahamas’ Paradise Island Bridge, which brought gamblers to a reputedly mobbed-up casino.
  • The Bahamas’ Paradise Island Bridge, which brought gamblers to a reputedly mobbed-up casino.
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Citizens are wringing their hands — wisely, in my opinion — about Mitt Romney’s long-standing practice of stashing money in havens such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. But during the Republican nomination race, then-candidate Newt Gingrich declared, “I don’t know of any American president who has had a Swiss bank account.”

Wrong, Newt. As a self-proclaimed historian, you should have read about Richard Nixon. According to reliable reports — not widely publicized — Nixon had a bundle of money in a now-defunct Swiss bank with smelly clients, particularly in San Diego.

The bank, which closed in 1974, was based in Zurich, but it had a branch in Nassau, the Bahamas, and its law firm and some operations were in New York City. It was named the Cosmos Bank. (Full disclosure: I began investigating Cosmos in 1970 and provided much information on it to Business Week magazine and Forbes magazine.)

Researchers have found that Cosmos was deeply involved with mobbed-up casino operations in the Bahamas and so was Nixon, often with his friend Bebe Rebozo. After Fidel Castro drove the Mafia out of Cuba, mob moneybags Meyer Lansky looked to the Bahamas for a casino haven.

Meyer Lansky

Huntington Hartford, heir to a grocery fortune, set up a casino in the Bahamas and initially wanted it free of mob influence. But that was not to be, and Hartford eventually sold most of his holdings. Hartford told Dan E. Moldea, author of several organized-crime books, that Nixon made three deposits totaling $35,883,070 in the Cosmos Bank between October 21, 1971, and June 11, 1972.

Anthony Summers, author of The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, wrote that according to documents seized by the Internal Revenue Service, the Nixon deposits in Cosmos were under the heading “N&R.” In the 1980s, Nixon, sometimes accompanied by his wife Pat and sometimes by Rebozo, “traveled to Zurich every single year,” according to Summers’s book.

The Cosmos Bank invested heavily in the Paradise Island Bridge, which transported gamblers to the Bahamian casino in which Lansky associates were allegedly involved. Summers interviewed Robert Morgenthau, the former organized-crime–fighting district attorney of New York County and onetime United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Morgenthau had interviewed Cosmos Bank officials. He concluded that they were holding a big investment in the bridge for Nixon. “Could I prove it? No. Am I sure of it? Yes,” Summers quoted Morgenthau saying.

According to Business Week, “The Senate Watergate Committee and the special prosecutor’s office looked into the Cosmos Bank, among others, to learn if it was a conduit for illegal Republican campaign contributions.” The bank’s New York lawyer and a board member William G. Dillon (with whom I tangled several times) told the magazine, “The bank is being deliberately misidentified. A few years ago, if Rebozo or Nixon or anyone else came to us, we’d be flattered. But it didn’t happen.” Hmmm.

Irvin Kahn

Cosmos was created in 1959. According to the book Masters of Paradise: Organized Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas, “A few years after its creation, Cosmos was strategically placed in a controversial American land development scheme involving organized crime. In 1964, Cosmos loaned millions of Swiss francs to builder Irvin J. Kahn for his Rancho Peñasquitos project near San Diego, California.” It was a concealed loan. “One of the conditions of the hidden loan called for Kahn to purchase a $1 million life insurance policy naming Cosmos as the beneficiary.” Hmmm.

Continued Summers’s book, “The agreement was a prerequisite for vastly larger loans [for the Peñasquitos project] from the racketeer-managed Teamsters Central States Fund. With the permission of Cosmos, Kahn borrowed very heavily from the pension fund.”

As Forbes pointed out, Kahn, who died in 1973, “was involved in numerous deals with principals related to organized crime.” He was close to St. Louis mob/Teamsters lawyer Morris Shenker, with whom he invested in the notorious Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Oh, yes. Kahn money also helped develop parts of Clairemont.

Cosmos plunked money into San Diego’s U.S. Financial, a real estate conglomerate based on phony accounting, whose principals ended up in the pokey. Among other Cosmos investments: Equity Funding, a financial conglomerate once called the “fraud of the century,” and Westec, which went bankrupt shortly after Cosmos got involved. Executives went to the slammer in both of those well-publicized frauds.

U.S. Financial, Equity Funding, and Westec were not particularly good investments for Cosmos. But its most notorious involvement, with a Cleveland conglomerate named A-T-O, was enormously remunerative — for Cosmos and other insiders, but not for the little guys, who got skinned when the stock completely fell apart. (Cosmos dumped more than two-thirds of its stock before the crash.)

The chief executive of A-T-O, Harry Figgie, a Harvard MBA, claimed he was a managerial genius. He could make an acquisition in one day, he asserted, as he forecast tremendous earnings growth. Wall Street believed him and sent the stock soaring, although analysts observed insiders, including Cosmos, dumping their stock rapidly. They had paid 8 cents each for their shares and were jettisoning them for 50,000 percent profits or more. As Forbes pointed out, many of those insiders were the same ones who made fat profits in other stocks pumped up by the Teamsters-tainted brokerage house that had brought out A-T-O.

In those days, it was against the law for a Swiss bank to reveal if it was holding stock for somebody else. Growled Dillon, Cosmos Bank’s lawyer and a board member, to me, “It’s ours, it’s ours, it’s ours, and it isn’t anybody else’s. There is no Mr. X in Italy or the United States.”

Deadpanned the book The Big Time: The Harvard Business School’s Most Successful Class and How It Shaped America, “A-T-O’s first bank — the Cosmos Bank of Zurich — had profited a tidy $20 million by its timely liquidations.”

But there is no record that Richard Nixon got in on that one. ■

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Comments

dwbat July 18, 2012 @ 8:33 a.m.

They didn't call Nixon "Tricky Dicky" for no reason!

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Don Bauder July 18, 2012 @ 9:32 a.m.

What has always struck me about Nixon is his astonishing hubris. He had no qualms about openly dealing with mobbed-up characters in Florida. (Goldwater, too, had major mob connections in Arizona and Las Vegas. Through his movie industry relationships, Reagan mixed with dubious characters. Dan Moldea wrote a book about Reagan, MCA, and the mob. I would love to know some of the details about Bill Clinton's foreign dealings, but have few specifics.) Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat July 19, 2012 @ 9:20 a.m.

When Reagan was SAG president, he sold out his union and made a deal with the devil (Universal/MCA), giving them a sweetheart deal that saved the company from paying $millions in residuals for TV acting done by SAG actors for Universal series. Universal rewarded Reagan very well for his efforts.

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 9:39 a.m.

Moldea wrote a book about Reagan, MCA and the mob. I read it. Good book. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 9:15 p.m.

That line worked once. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat July 19, 2012 @ 9:21 a.m.

I think "Slick Willy" covers his trails pretty well.

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 9:42 a.m.

Those who rise to the very top are almost always pretty slick. Best, Don Bauder

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Submariner July 19, 2012 @ 2:48 p.m.

Except for the one he left on Monica's dress ...

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 3:20 p.m.

Was Slick Willy the smartest president ever? Close, but no cigar. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 19, 2012 @ 4:40 p.m.

Should a gentleman offer a lady a Tiparillo?

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 9:12 p.m.

Not if there is something more interesting to do. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 20, 2012 @ 10:59 a.m.

"What has always struck me about Nixon is his astonishing hubris." Nixon was a lawyer AND a politician. How can you be surprised. It's not only a forgone conclusion but almost a prerequisite for someone engaged in either of those professions. But then someone who is both? I can say that personally, I have never been surprised by the hubris of anyone in politics and in particular someone who has risen to the level of POTUS.

None

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 1:14 p.m.

It has always interested me that politicians who rise to the top, such as Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and Anthony Weiner, are such colossal risk-takers, willing to destroy themselves for gratification that may be fleeting. I've always thought that people who want to be president, and will take the hits they do to get there, have a loose screw of some kind. Maybe this risk-taking proclivity gives us a psychological clue. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 18, 2012 @ 2 p.m.

Hunh - all these years I thought Nixon's best buddy's name was Bobo Rub-eze.

None

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Don Bauder July 18, 2012 @ 2:04 p.m.

Many people wondered about the deep friendship between Nixon and Rebozo. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 18, 2012 @ 7:04 p.m.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Don Bauder July 18, 2012 @ 7:32 p.m.

Agreed: nothing wrong with deep friendships. What was puzzling in the 1960s, and remains puzzling, is why Nixon, who was very intelligent, relied on judgments of a man with dubious connections and no obvious intellectual depth. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 9:38 a.m.

Indeed. Follow the money. That advice to Washington Post journalists led to Nixon's downfall. But Nixon's ties with unsavory people have, by and large, remained under the radar, despite all the coverage of his dishonesty, two-facedness, mental imbalance, etc. The public just doesn't want to hear that its leaders are tied to crooks. By early 1971, I knew Cosmos had mob ties. I suspected Nixon might be involved, but it was only a vague suspicion. I voted for Nixon in 1972 as I had voted for him in 1968. Had I had solid proof that he was involved with Cosmos, I would not have voted for him. (I was a Republican until I changed parties in 2004, because I couldn't take it anymore.) Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 19, 2012 @ 11:23 a.m.

He definitely became a sympathetic character in (much of) the public eye after the resignation. "Here comes the former President now, waving and weeping" was a line from the Firesign Theater album "Everything You Know is Wrong", released in 1974. I surmise that there was a tendency to cease adding fuel to the ignominious fires that seemed to be raging inside a mortally wounded man. Of course he fooled us again when he reclaimed his inner braggadocio.

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Don Bauder July 19, 2012 @ 12:37 p.m.

I think that's right. He was in such internal turmoil as Watergate broke and escalated. The inner torture remained after his resignation, but after some heeling, he seemed to get the old swagger -- and pathetic state of denial -- back in his psyche. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 20, 2012 @ 11:19 a.m.

Wasn't Nixon also involved with Key Biscayne Bank, which Rebozo started in the early 60's? Supposedly, he had the first account opened. I think the general consensus was that Rebozo started it with mob money. Kind of hard to believe NIxon was unaware. I have also read that Rebozo is the one who actually paid for Nixon's estate when it was purchased in 1969.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 1:23 p.m.

Yes, much has been written about Nixon's involvement with Key Biscayne Bank, which Rebozo started and Nixon helped publicize. Nixon would have been aware that mob money was in the bank, just as he must have been aware of mob connections of the Cosmos Bank. According to many reports, Nixon first got involved with the mob in Florida through ex-Sen. George Smathers. This could date back to the 1940s. Best, Don Bauder

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Ken July 20, 2012 @ 3:27 p.m.

I think this is a yarn. Creative, and with lot's of trails, but they never actually deliver the pay-off. Nixon was the most investigated President in history. Throughout everything, no one ever connected these dots conclusively? Hmmm... speculation doesn't prove anything.

To think that they would indict Agnew but not Nixon... does not make sense. And all of this was going on under Eisenhower's nose? Ike never liked Nixon and would have dumped him or used it to stop him from becoming president. With all of the alleged mob connections to the JFK assasination, if Nixon was mobbed up why was this missed? My God, if they could have connected Nixon-Mob-Assasination we'd have heard of it. Even the hint.

Papa Joe Kennedy certainly did have mob ties... certainly those ties assisted JFK win the presidency... if Nixon was also connected as well, this information would have been used against him in '60, '62, '68 or '72. Certainly his opponents had access if the information was available and truthful.

And where did all the money go? Neither Nixon daughter is wealthy. Just not logical. Interesting, tantalizing... but not logical.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 4:15 p.m.

The fact that Joe Kennedy was essentially a mobster was not used in the 1960 election, as I remember. Of course, the fact that the White House hooker Judith Exner was provided to Kennedy by a Chicago mobster never came out while he was alive. Top politicians have so many mob money sources that I suspect the candidates agree before the election that the subject will not be raised. Goldwater had numerous mob connections and LBJ was hardly clean. Neither discussed the topic in the 1964 election. Sorry, I do not believe the Nixon mob stories are just part of a yarn. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell July 20, 2012 @ 3:48 p.m.

This no yarn. It was documented in the 1970s that Nixon took bribes and that Rebozo was his bagman. Howard Hughes paid a $100,000 bribe to Nixon for his help in forcing regulators to approve his takeover of Airwest. Rebozo took the cash on behalf on Nixon. Nixon also took a $1 million cash bribe from the milk producers to lift federal price controls on milk. Rebozo put the cash in a safe deposit box in Mexico City. The money was later used to pay off E. Howard Hunt, who agreed to take the fall for Watergate if his wife received $1 million. The scheme fell apart when Hunt's wife was killed in a plane crash and her suitcases were found stuffed with $100 bills. While President Eisenhower also took money from large corporations seeking favors. He built his large "farm" at Gettysburg with "gifts" from large corporations. One of his brothers moved into a suite at the Waldorf Astoria, and lived there for years, refusing to pay for lodging or meals.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 4:20 p.m.

And what about that plane crash? Anybody suspicious of that? There was a Watergate character -- I have forgotten who it was -- who was killed in a very suspicious plane crash. Best, Don Bauder

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Ken July 20, 2012 @ 4:50 p.m.

As suspicious as the Clinton's friend and lawyer who was found dead in a Washington, DC area park who apparently committed suicide without creating any blood spatter.

These theories presume that we can control every police officer, every reporter, every citizen who ever came into contact with the circumstances... that they are all willing to be involved in the conspiracy. Possible perhaps... and I'd believe some... but not all of these stories that rely heavily on assumption and presumption. I just don't think these kinds of secrets stay buried... and when they are exposed, they are not exposed in minor, free publications.

Just my opinion.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 6:31 p.m.

Yes, many media were suspicious of that incident. I never wrote about it. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 21, 2012 @ 1:37 a.m.

Ah, Vince Foster, part of the Clinton body count. LOL

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Don Bauder July 21, 2012 @ 7:58 a.m.

But the media really dug into the Vince Foster case -- as I recall, it became an obsession with the Wall Street Journal. There is a lot still to be written about the Clinton presidency -- and the Clinton reign as governor in Arkansas. A friend of mine, an excellent investigative reporter, went to Arkansas to get the scoop. She talked with many drivers who had taken Clinton out when he was scouting for ladies of the evening. She dug into the land deals. Her stories were printed in a Pittsburgh newspaper, but didn't seem to scar Clinton before the election. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 20, 2012 @ 5 p.m.

It was E Howard Hunt's wife. Supposedly she was on the way to Chicago with $100k to pay off the guy who provided the bugs that Hunt used to try and get blackmail material. If you choose to believe the conspiracy theorists, some say it was Hunt and his operatives who were in Dealey Plaza providing the diversion that enabled the real Kennedy assassins to escape.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 6:33 p.m.

I don't even know that I have heard that theory, but then I have never been one consumed by interest in the Kennedy assassination. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 21, 2012 @ 1:24 a.m.

I'm pretty sure that you don't read Rolling Stone either. Several years ago, not to long after his death, there was an article on the subject. It relates how at one point, when Hunt was very ill and thought he was on the verge of death(which as it turns out he wasn't), he related his involvement in Kennedy's assassination to his son.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2012 @ 8 a.m.

I didn't read Rolling Stone then, but I devour Matt Taibbi's superb articles in it now. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 21, 2012 @ 10:04 a.m.

Yeah, he's not too bad for a former heroin junkie. I think Taibbi started writing for RS during the 2004 election, but I think he's only been a contributing editor since about 2008. As I said, the RS article on Hunt was sometime in 2007, so I'm guessing you're a relative late comer to Taibbi's RS contributions. I do have to say that while most of his stuff is good, sometimes I think he stretches his connections a bit. I also have to say, that to me, a little bit of the shine has rubbed off of Taibbi since his Vanity Fair "incident" a couple of years ago.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2012 @ 12:43 p.m.

My interest in Taibbi is strictly concentrated on what he writes on Wall Street and the financial industry in general. And his pieces are excellent. Best, Don Bauder

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Ken July 20, 2012 @ 4:45 p.m.

Of course the cash referred to went in to campaign coffers instead of personal accounts, and that is why campaign finance reform laws were enacted instead of indictments.

We don't allow these kinds of contributions now, and it is obvious why, but it nevertheless must be viewed at that moment in time; and does not prove the original thesis.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2012 @ 6:35 p.m.

We appreciate your opinions, Ken, but you must understand that investigative journalists are paid to be skeptics. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat July 21, 2012 @ 2:39 p.m.

Hughes was an equal opportunity briber. He gave bags o' cash to both Democrats and Republicans, including NIxon and Humphrey. LBJ was on the take, way before he even became Vice President.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2012 @ 9:58 p.m.

Yes, you are right on LBJ. Jack Kennedy told associates that he knew Johnson was on the take -- in fact, Kennedy used the words "on the take" -- but LBJ was needed for the VP slot. strictly for political reasons. You are also right on Hughes: he filled briefcases on both sides of the aisle. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 25, 2012 @ 12:04 a.m.

LBJ let the nation down by continuing the Vietnam war, and he cost tens of thousands of American service men their lives. That's all I need to say about him.....why????? Dispicable.

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tomjohnston July 25, 2012 @ 7:56 a.m.

surfpuppy619, Let me ask you, how old were you when LBJ won the 1964 Presidential election? This is why were stayed in Vietnam: "They are going to throw our asses out of there at any point. But I can't give up that territory to the communists and get the American people to re-elect me". I think that says it all right there.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 8:09 a.m.

I don't remember Johnson having admitted that he stayed in Vietnam only as a ploy to get reelected. Devastating comment -- and not surprising, tragically. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 25, 2012 @ 9:16 a.m.

That was a trick quote. It was actually said by JFK in early 1963. Johnson was aware of his weak political position upon becoming president, was aware that Vietnam was crucial to his presidency and saw the need to stand firm against what he perceived as an example of worldwide communist expansion. After he succeeded Kennedy, Johnson was a fervent supporter of the ‘Domino Theory’ and he wanted to support South Vietnam. He was quoted at the time saying “If we quit Vietnam tomorrow we’ll be fighting in Hawaii and next week we’ll have to be fighting in San Francisco.” In June of 1964, Johnson sent Canadian diplomat to Hanoi carrying a message in which the U.S. offered economic aid and diplomatic recognition if North Vietnam ended its assistance to the Vietcong. Massive American air and naval operations against the North were hinted at should Hanoi reject these overtures. He met with Premier Pham Van Dong in Hanoi on June 18 and was told that America must withdraw from Vietnam and permit the reunification of the country on a neutral basis similar to that of Laos. During the 1964 presidential campaign, Barry Goldwater, who advocated greater use of military force in South Vietnam, hammered Johnson for being too soft in his approach to the North Vietnamese. Prior to the election, Congress had given Johnson near enough total support for his actions (Senate 88 to 2 and House 416 to 0) and also authorized him to take whatever measures he deemed necessary against North Vietnam. The result? Johnson won in a land slide. I believe that his record margin of victory in the popular vote still stands,. A few weeks after his inauguration in 1965, 3,500 US Marines arrived in South Vietnam. Johnson sold this deployment to the US public by claiming that they would be in South Vietnam as a short-term measure. In a poll held in 1965, 80% of those Americans polled indicated that they supported Johnson. A short time later he is said to have told his National Security Advisor” I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there with, once we’re committed. I believe that the Chinese Communists are coming into it. I don't think that we can fight them ten thousand miles away from home.... I don't think it's worth fighting for and I don't think that we can get out. It's just the biggest damn mess that I ever saw.” In 1967, public opinion polls still showed that over 60% of the American public opposed any withdrawal from Vietnam. The Tet Offensive in 1968 would dramatically alter this situation, trigger the most violent opposition to the government since the Civil War, and ultimately end LBJ’s presidency. After a Walter Cronkite report in which he said the war was unwinnable, LBJ was reported to have said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America.”

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 10:41 a.m.

Goldwater's jingoism not only pushed Johnson in the wrong direction, but also wounded Goldwater's own hopes, which were impossible anyway, given JFK's assassination and the concomitant public mourning. Goldwater was ahead of his time on domestic political issues; Nixon later picked up the Southern strategy and Reagan picked up the anti-government mantle and served two terms. Now we have a difficult dilemma: so-called free enterprise, or quasi-laissez faire, does not work and neither does big government regulation. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 25, 2012 @ 11:27 a.m.

I was just a few days shy of my 14th birthday at the time of the 1964 Presidential election. We were doing a project on it in my HS gov't class, so that was when I first took an interest in politics. At that time, had I been able, there was no way in hell that I would have ever voted for Goldwater, much like I never would have voted for McGovern in 1968

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 1:49 p.m.

I proudly voted for Goldwater in 1964, because I then believed that market forces would hold corporate and banking fraud to a minimum. Also, I thought that corporations, Wall Street, and banks had ethics. How wrong I was! Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 25, 2012 @ 1:11 p.m.

"Goldwater was ahead of his time on domestic political issues" I almost missed that one. He said in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention: I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! He voted AGAINST the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He supported Joe McCarthy. I'm not sure that you can call that " ahead of his time" Please elaborate.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 1:56 p.m.

"Ahead of his time" was a neutral statement as I intended to make it. I meant that Nixon adopted the Southern strategy -- which Goldwater launched by voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- and Goldwater preached against government interference in the economy, as Reagan later did. It's said that Reagan changed the course of history by declaring that government was not a solution to the problem, but WAS the problem. But that was what Goldwater had preached. In that sense, Goldwater was ahead of his time; I was rendering no ethical judgment on his beliefs. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 25, 2012 @ 2:52 p.m.

Well, I suppose that because he tried something for the first time, something later employed by someone else, you could call it ahead of his time. But that "southern strategy" certainly didn't go as intended. Goldwater only succeeded in alienating 90% of the black vote and most of the rest of the country along with them. Besides Arizona, I think he only carried 5 other states, which I'm sure is not what he had in mind. I had to look this up: Goldwater receiver 52 electoral votes to Johnson's 486. Whatever his plan was with regard to that "Southern Strategy" it most surely backfired. And some would argue that Reagan's success was only due to Carters' failures,the poor economy, the energy crisis and the Iran hostage situation, which were only exacerbated by also having to run against Ted Kennedy. I personally think the Iran hostage situation was the main factor in his loss to Reagan. If Operation Eagle Claw succeeds, Carter wins in a landslide. It failed and any hope Carter had of freeing the hostages, either diplomatically or militarily, was gone and with it any hope of being re-elected.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 10:20 p.m.

I didn't say Goldwater's Southern strategy succeeded. It clearly did not. But it did work for Nixon only four years later. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 8:06 a.m.

I agree that Johnson erred -- and in fact destroyed his own presidency -- by keeping that war going. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 10:30 a.m.

Agreed. LBJ's escalation of that war was a horrible mistake. And it was done for political reasons when he was going to win the 1964 election anyway. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 21, 2012 @ 7:54 p.m.

Nixon's crimes were numerous, when he resigned, more believed in flying saucers than his innocence. He deserved his removal from office, but he was plainly more qualified, and less dangerous, than the Republican zealots today. He exaggerated the Communist threat, but that threat did exist, and he knew the difference between the New Deal and Communism. We called him paranoid, and he was, today they would call him Liberal.

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SurfPuppy619 July 25, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m.

*Nixon*, after listening to his tapes- was a paranoid nutcase, but you cannot diminish his foreign policy excellence, especially with China, and he did a decent job on the national economy. I feel sorry for him in a way, because his record was clearly above average IMO. But his pettyness and grudge holding are off the hook......

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 8:12 a.m.

Nixon's psychological disorders destroyed him. The revelations on the tapes, for example, were devastating. But I agree with you: his domestic and foreign policy achievements have been obliterated by Watergate. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2012 @ 10:09 p.m.

Actually, Nixon accomplished a great deal in his presidency. He basically established the environmental platform we know today: clean air, clean water, the Environmental Protection Agency, etc. I agree with you: Nixon was a political moderate who would be reviled as a liberal today. (Of course, Humphrey and McGovern were more liberal, so Nixon was the less liberal choice.) Nixon made many strides in foreign affairs -- breaking the ice with China was one of them. It is very sad that he was thoroughly dishonest, like most politicians, but got caught, and then his personality disorders destroyed him. It was also sad that Bill Clinton's deep psychological flaws led to his self-destruction. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 22, 2012 @ 2:55 p.m.

Nixon was a crook, but looking at the results, one wonders if morality is overrated. Nixon would do anything he could get away with to win and keep the presidency. When President he brought that same ruthlessness to the pursuit of the national interest. No moral absolutist could have formed the tacit alliance with the Chinese Communist leadership that ended the cold war, they were mass murderers after all.

I would say that I would never vote for such a scoundrel, but if Nixon taught us anything, it would be never say never. If the choice were Romney, Nixon would win my vote. He wasn't a pampered fool.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2012 @ 6:34 p.m.

I absolutely would vote for Nixon over Romney. One reason is that Nixon is dead. (Just kidding there.) I prefer Nixon's view of the world and he was less insincere than Romney is, and Nixon was quite insincere. Romney ran and governed as a moderate-to-left Republican in Massachusetts, but switched to becoming a radical redneck when the Tea Party got control of the Republican party. His lying and stonewalling in the offshore bank scandals and his tax returns is disgustingly deplorable. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr July 23, 2012 @ 5:31 p.m.

Wow, Mitt Romney taking full advantage of the tax code to not pay any more taxes than he absolutely has to! The nerve! I know nobody here does that, and looks for more credits and deductions and other sleazy little loopholes out of paying their fair share! By God, if I notice that the IRS isn't taking enough from me, I let them know and write them a check!

Good Lord, the lengths people will go to in order to try to defend Obama and see to it he gets another four years to finish wrecking the country. It isn't enough to whine and complain and stamp your feet about his main opponent doing something every American does... no sirree, we need to dig up Richard Nixon's corpse and paint Romney with that brush, too! Frankly, I'm amazed that some of you morons can remember to take one breath after another.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2012 @ 7:36 p.m.

How do you know that all Mitt Romney was doing was taking full advantage of the tax code to minimize his taxes? You have no way of knowing that since he has not released his returns. This is what offshore tax havens are about: secrecy. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 23, 2012 @ 6:48 p.m.

Amazing that after stating the superiority of Nixon to modern Republicans, someone should jump on the thread to demonstrate the point. "He's not a crook.", and "Hail to the Cheat." seem to be the new slogans. Every rational Republican knows that Romney must release his returns, many have said so. The secret is the enemy of the truth. In the old days, Republicans knew this.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2012 @ 7:39 p.m.

I suspect that Romney is not releasing the returns because there is something -- maybe many things -- that would be more damaging to him than just stonewalling the issue. But I don't know that -- just suspect it. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell July 23, 2012 @ 8:13 p.m.

I suspect that Romney will not release his tax returns because he can't admit that he did not pay income taxes on his fortune. As an example, Romney disclosed that he has $100 million in his IRA. If Romney had contributed every year to his IRA starting in 1975 when IRAs began, he would have contributed about $100,000 in total. He can't explain how he turned $100,000 into $100 million of untaxed capital appreciation. Did Uncle Sam wink and look the other way and let Romney slide on his taxes, while demanding the full measure from the rest of us? Is Romney behind the move in Congress to exempt IRAs from the estate tax? If so, he would never pay a dime in taxes, nor would his estate, on the profits from his sleazy deals.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2012 @ 9:28 p.m.

Yes, he will have a hard time explaining how his IRA grew so fantastically. Even if he made his deposits in a corporate program that permitted larger amounts than you and I can legally put in, his IRA pile just cannot be explained. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 24, 2012 @ 9:34 a.m.

Actually, it could be pretty easy to explain. There are limits to the amount that can be contributed tax-deferred to an IRA. With the type of IRA that Bain Capitol, he could have had up to $30k per year in contributions, which would be about $450k during is time there. But while there are contribution limits, there are no restrictions on the amount of money that the contributed capital can earn and can continue to earn, on a tax-deferred basis, even after the contributions have stopped. So if Romney put $30k worth of stock into his IRA every year from all of those corporate slice and dice deals, it's possible, and it wouldn't be taxed until withdrawal. The key word, however is possible. Only Buffett seems to be that lucky, and the fact Romney won't share tells me there's something else going on.

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Don Bauder July 24, 2012 @ 8:22 p.m.

Bloomberg News earlier explained how Romney's IRA could have ballooned so amazingly, and came to the same conclusion you did: it is very, very difficult to explain. I suspect it is impossible. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 24, 2012 @ 11:59 p.m.

Burwell, that was an excellent commentary, how did you know all that???

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 8:15 a.m.

Burwell is well read. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 24, 2012 @ 1:12 a.m.

Romney's deer in the headlights interviews alarm me as much as the possible crimes he might be concealing. He seems to believe that questions about his honesty are out of bounds. The request for an apology was hilarious. He seems unready for the election, let alone the presidency. This doesn't seem to bother the kingmakers who wish to buy this election. They've elected idiots before.

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Don Bauder July 24, 2012 @ 8:11 a.m.

Agreed: Romney is unready for the presidency as long as he will not reveal his tax returns. Like you, I find the man's credibility astonishingly low, and not just on the tax issue. Last week, he took a statement by Obama completely out of context and banged away at it. Anybody looking at what Obama said would have known that the small part Romney excised was out of context. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 24, 2012 @ 11:56 p.m.

The choice between Obama, whom I voted for in 08, and Romney reminds me of the choice between Brown and Whitman - two AWFUL choices. I will not vote for Obama again, and I probably wont vote for Romney either-which leaves me with a protest vote-but I have to vote my conscience and I don't feel either of these two are going to do what is needed. Obama has been one of the biggest let downs of my life, just like Arnold, you have such high hope going in and then it is just the same old same old money rules everything game..........with the poor and middle class getting hosed more and more with every passing year.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 8:19 a.m.

I agree that Obama has been a big disappointment. But the alternative? Romney? The man is a chameleon's chameleon. It is just disgusting to compare his current positions with positions he took as governor of Massachusetts. True, politics is a liar's profession, but Romney takes the cake. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 24, 2012 @ 2:39 p.m.

Romney will do or say anything in attack, but asks for apologies when opponents note that his signatures don't match his statements. Romney the person seems very beatable, but it's more important to beat the bad ideas he's pitching. Bush implemented them all and they ruined us.

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Don Bauder July 24, 2012 @ 4:41 p.m.

That's Obama's pitch: why go back to Bush policies that got us into trouble in the first place? From at least one ad I have seen, Obama is reluctant to identify the Bush policies as trickle down economics. I don't know why he avoids that description. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 24, 2012 @ 8:53 p.m.

I don't envy anyone who must explain economics to an undecided voter. Obama needs to simplify the message, I'm certain he knows this. The truth will always be harder to explain than the lie, because the lie is designed to be believed, while the the truth is often unbelievable.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 8:22 a.m.

Obama should attack Wall Street and the banking industry more than he does. Of course, Wall Street banks are a huge source of his funding. But I think he must do it. The attacks will resonate with voters. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 25, 2012 @ 6:54 p.m.

Actually, that's incorrect. The Wall Street banks are supporting Romney this time around based on FEC data released on Saturday, July 21, 2012. His top contributors so far are: 1. GS 2. JPM 3. MS 4. BofA 5. Credit Suisse 6. Citi Group 7. Barclays 9. Wells Fargo The only bank in Obama's top 20 donors is Well Fargo. While they have donated about $275k to Romney, they have only donated about $145k to Obama.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2012 @ 10:17 p.m.

I think $145k is still a good donation, whether or not it is dwarfed by what Romney is getting from the crooks. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 26, 2012 @ 9:50 a.m.

Well certainly to you and I, $145k is nothing to sneeze at, but that wasn't your comment. What you said was the Wall Street Banks are a huge source of Obama's funding. I was simply pointing out that this time around, that is not the case, the Wall Street banks are supporting Romney, by almost a 3-1 ratio. The FEC makes the data available for all to see.

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Don Bauder July 26, 2012 @ 10:24 a.m.

Not backing down. Wall Street and its individuals remain a huge source of Obama funding, even if dwarfed by what the bandits are giving Romney. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston July 26, 2012 @ 12:07 p.m.

You are entitled to your own beliefs, but the facts are born out that while Wall Street is a large source of funding,but not the largest, this time around very little of it is going to Obama. It's there in black and white for all to see. Of course, it is your prerogative to choose not to look at it.

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Don Bauder July 26, 2012 @ 7:58 p.m.

In June, Romney had raised $37.1 million from Wall Street and Obama $4.8 million. I'm sure the Wall Streeters think to themselves, "Romney is one of us." That is, a crook who belongs in prison. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 28, 2012 @ 8:52 a.m.

Re: Romney's tax records. Frankly, I'm fairly conservative and will probably vote for Romney. But I think the tax records are a valid question. Voters have a right to know. If you don't want your life under the microscope then don't run for president.

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Don Bauder July 28, 2012 @ 10:45 a.m.

I used to be very conservative, not merely fairly conservative. At that time, I was also doing a lot of reporting into offshore tax evasion, tax avoidance, dodging of American regulatory requirements, etc. through use of offshore secrecy and tax havens. Despite my politics then, I would never have voted for Romney. He is hiding something, and it must be big, or he would have released his tax records years ago. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 28, 2012 @ 9:04 a.m.

Obama's campaign has basically been attacking Romney for being rich. Willl this resonate with voters? I don't know - it sure doesn't resonate with me.

What would have resonated with me - and a lot of other voters as well I think - is IF Obama had been tougher on the banking industry.

The U.S. gov't gave over $1T in bailouts. There should have been extensive reforms pushed through as conditions for those bailouts - break up TBTF corporations - GS, BofA, investigate all these companies in great detail for the extensive fraud which had to have occurred, restore all of Glass-Steagal.

There should also have been major reforms and reduction in the scope of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - the charter of these agencies should be to provide stability, not stimulation for the RE agency.

Right now Obama COULD have been campaigning, "I brought the HAMMER down on fraud and conflicts of interest in banking and Wall Street which were a major cause of the present recession". But he knows very few corrupt bankers are in prison and he knows Dodd-Frank is pretty weak. Instead, he is campaigning "Romney is rich and is therefore a bad guy".

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Don Bauder July 28, 2012 @ 10:52 a.m.

I think Obama has been attacking Romney for his offshore antics -- not merely for being rich. I agree with you that Obama and Congress should have come down hard on the banks. Dodd-Frank was pusillanimous and still the banks' lobbying money managed to make it even mushier. Now that the banks are giving most of their money to Romney, Obama -- if he wins -- should break up the big banks, restore Glass-Steagall, put in the Volcker rule, and have the DOJ pursue criminal cases against banking industry kingpins. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 30, 2012 @ 1:54 a.m.

Listen, 4444the rich are getting richer because the tax code is allowing it.

Listed to some of Bernie Sanders speeches on the senate floor, 93% of all the income in in 2011 that was above the previous year went to the top 1%,..... 93%.

The Walmart heirs own more wealth the the bottom 40% of ALL Americans. One family owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of the country.

Sanders is not perfect-he is a big fan of social programs, but he seems to understand that the wealth inequality is going to kill us.

Here yo go-get educated, his office posts these on youtube, excellent stats;

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Don Bauder July 30, 2012 @ 7:10 a.m.

Sanders understands the economic woes that can be caused by this grossly uneven distribution of wealth and income. Consumption is 71% of GDP. The economy needs a middle class. In the late 1920s, wealth and income distribution was almost as bad. Ponder that. Also, read economists Stiglitz and Krugman. They understand. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 31, 2012 @ 9:13 p.m.

I agree and indetify with Sanders over anyone else in politics right now, he is not my cup of tea for social sending, but that is only part of his platform I disagree with

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Don Bauder July 31, 2012 @ 10:10 p.m.

He's the only one in either branch of Congress with guts. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Aug. 1, 2012 @ 8:07 a.m.

He and Alan Simpson would be a pair to draw to.

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2012 @ 8:31 a.m.

I'll take Sanders to Simpson, but I see your point. Best, Don Bauder

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