The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 26, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Republican supporters of military aid to the Western European members of NATO moved to cut the President's proposed 1.45 billion dollar package by more than half to about 750 million dollars, 450 million of which would be in surplus equipment. The amount would be in addition to the military aid to Turkey and Greece, begun in 1947 under the Truman Doctrine.

Senators engaged in angry debate with one another regarding the 5.723 billion dollar ERP aid appropriation for the new fiscal year.

House Republicans were seeking a date certain for adjournment of the Congressional session and suggested that they might fight a move to keep the session going beyond the end of July, the deadline fixed by the 1946 Reorganization Act.

Bernard Baruch, arriving from Europe, said that the Marshall Plan had been effective but not as effective as it ought to have been, that Britain was spending too much time on nationalism and not enough time on developing the country and its production. In answer to a question, he agreed that if the U.S. provided less aid, the ERP-recipient nations might help themselves more.

The 35 million dollar Federal aid to education bill for health services to public as well as private and parochial schools, backed by House Majority Leader John McCormack, met with some opposition in the House for Federal invasion of health care of schoolchildren. The bill had been approved in a Commerce subcommittee the previous day.

In the House, Southern Democrats yielded and conceded victory on the anti-poll tax legislation, saying that it would never pass in the Senate.

Thurman Arnold, former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the antitrust division of the Justice Department, stated to the Senate Banking Committee that it was very dangerous to allow labor unions to monopolize the labor supply without curbs on their power, urged that they be made subject to antitrust legislation. The Committee was studying the coal industry at the request of Senator Willis Robertson of Virginia on the premise that the three-day work week arranged between the UMW and management pending negotiation of a new contract was an effort to fix prices and restrict production. Mr. Arnold said that the three-day week was designed to create coal scarcity and thereby to place the union in a more favorable position in the ensuing strike.

In New York, Irving Bitz, once involved as a go-between in the kidnaping of the baby of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was one of six men arrested in connection with an alleged 50 million dollar per year numbers racket. Mr. Bitz had been an intermediary, along with another man, in negotiating the return of the baby on March 5, 1932, but then withdrew from the matter on April 28.

In Stockton, California, a 33-year old pilot buzzed around the city for more than hour in a Cessna plane owned by his father before deliberately diving into the ground to his death, inside the graveyard in which his wife was buried after dying in April giving birth. In addition to the infant, a two-year old daughter survived.

In Raleigh, a man attacked the City Manager with a brass ashtray, inflicting a slight head abrasion while using profane language. The man was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.

He was scheduled for summary execution the following Monday at dawn, as profane language shall not be tolerated in the State capital.

It remained hot in Charlotte, with temperatures reaching into the 90's. The previous day was the hottest day of the year, reaching 100. The mercury was in the nineties throughout the Piedmont Carolinas the previous day, reaching 101 in Columbia, S.C.

On the editorial page, "Military Assistance Program" finds the President's request for 1.45 billion dollars in military aid to the Western European members of NATO to have been made at a bad time, when there was no recent problem in Europe and the salons in Washington were anxious to wrap up business for the session and get out of the heat. While the Senate had overwhelmingly ratified NATO the previous Thursday, there were many in Congress yet to be convinced of the necessity of approving immediate military aid.

Two questions arose: first, whether it was wise to give the President authority to spend such a large amount without first requiring the signatory nations to set forth a plan for effectuating the alliance and what its military strategy would be; and second, whether the amount proposed was enough for deterrence or sufficient to delay a Russian attack so that mobilization could take place and the arms would not wind up being taken by the Communist attackers as in China.

The State Department said: "Their defense is our defense." The President said that force had to be ready to meet the danger of aggression. That was so even if the danger was attenuated recently with easing East-West tensions after the Berlin blockade had ended in May and the Paris Foreign Ministers Council meeting had led to some positive signs of cooperation.

The military aid program was considered the best way to provide defense. It concludes that the program went hand-in-hand with NATO and would be necessary if the treaty was to be a success. The money should therefore be approved by Congress.

"Divided Responsibility" tells of Mayor Herbert Shaw finding conditions at the Shuman Avenue animal shelter "nauseating". It was built by the County on City property and the City Pet Department supplied the staff except for the night watchman, supplied by the County. So there was three-way responsibility.

They had better fix that with celerity before the pets rebel and seize the shelter by force.

"Let's Say 'Hello'" looks at such expressions as "Whatcha know?" and "How's tricks?" or "What's up?" or "What's the good word?" or "How's life treatin' you?" and other such expressions which had no real answer but were simply substitutes for conventional greetings. It ends with, "Hot enough for you?"

Drew Pearson tells of there being more than meets the eye behind the fight waged by Congressman Albert Gore of Tennessee to kill the Brannan agriculture plan and reimpose the old parity system before the Aiken plan of sliding parity became effective at the start of 1950. Mr. Gore wanted to become a Senator when Senator Kenneth McKellar retired. The president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau promised to support Mr. Gore for the Senate provided he opposed the Brannan program, calling for subsidies to keep farm prices at a "fair rate" and consumer prices at market rates on overproduced perishable produce. The Farm Bureau president, Mr. Pearson notes, was motivated in part by jealousy as he expected to be named Agriculture Secretary instead of Charles Brannan.

Mr. Gore would be elected to the Senate in 1952.

The ousting of Congressman Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania as RNC chairman had come from bitterness within the party, especially between the Dewey and Taft wings, almost as intense as that of the Dixiecrats versus the Truman wing of the Democratic Party. Moreover, the GOP expected victory in 1952 and were jockeying for position toward that end. Sixteen state delegations signed a petition to call a meeting of the full RNC for purposes of ousting Mr. Scott.

Senator Taft wanted to bind wounds in the party and not alienate the Dewey forces. He initially backed John Danaher, former Connecticut Senator, as the new chairman, but objection arose that Mr. Danaher had been Mr. Dewey's choice for the chairmanship in 1946 when Congressman Carroll Reece of Tennessee was selected chairman. So, Mr. Taft agreed that Mr. Danaher's name would be withdrawn. Thus far, no chairman had been selected.

Friends of South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond had offered $50 to blacks if they would buy tickets to the DNC's South Carolina Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner attended by Vice-President Barkley earlier in the year.

The U.S. had threatened to cut off a 100-million dollar loan to Israel unless Arab refugees were sent back to Palestine.

Joseph Alsop discusses Senator Robert Taft's return to isolationism by first opposing the NATO treaty and then military aid to the Western European members. He was up for re-election in 1950 and both AFL and CIO had formed an alliance to try to defeat him for his co-sponsorship of Taft-Hartley in 1947 and his success in opposing its repeal and getting passed in the present Senate instead relatively minor amendments to it.

The labor opposition was searching for a strong pro-labor candidate in Ohio to run against him, complicated by Governor Frank Lausche's decision to run again so as to control the Ohio delegation in 1952. The only viable candidate appeared to be Murray Lincoln, a Republican but in name only as he had supported Democrats throughout the New Deal and was a leader of the liberal, pro-labor Americans for Democratic Action, supporters of President Truman in the 1948 election.

Mr. Alsop believes that if the candidacy of Mr. Lincoln were successful, then it would transform electoral politics in the country and produce a labor party akin to that in Britain.

Senator Taft, however, would be re-elected.

Marquis Childs tells of Russian Communism having achieved its greatest victory in the coup of March, 1948 in Czechoslovakia. At present, the Communist Government was seeking to destroy the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in that country. The West, he suggests, would ignore the object lesson at its peril.

Ivo Duchacek, formerly of the Czech diplomatic service, in the U.S. on a tour, had written a memorandum titled "The Strategy of Communist Infiltration: The Case of Czechoslovakia", being circulated among top policy planners in America. He indicated that the problem which had led to the Soviet coup was the lack of cohesive Anglo-American policy for Europe after the war, leaving a perception by the Soviets that they could overtake the country without risking reprisal by the West. The Western powers had left Prague to be "liberated" by Russia and thus the Russians got a foothold at the end of the war which was not met by active democratic resistance. Mr. Duchacek thus recommended first checkmating Soviet power to awaken democratic courage and resistance in Europe.

If Congress hesitated on supplying arms to Western Europe, then it would be perceived as weakness by the Soviets and cause NATO to be received as an empty vessel rather than as a deterrent to aggression.

Mr. Duchacek counseled formation of a courageous political and economic program of social reform to offset the possibility of Communist influence thriving in the midst of social injustice or lack of respect for basic human rights.

Mr. Childs finds that the 81st Congress had ignored or sidetracked a list of reforms advocated by the Democrats as the world was watching to determine whether good intentions would be matched by performance.

A letter writer thinks only "morose morons" were early risers, judging by the pre-breakfast broadcasts on the radio. All of the songs were folklore or "folkbore", laments about some departed relative or love gone wrong. There was also aversion to proper usage of English at that hour. The commercials tended toward advertising of patent medicines and vitamins.

He says that he had listened to an early morning show out of New York and found the same tendencies, thus concluded that morons, at least, were not limited to the South.

A letter writer favors making Mint Street in Charlotte a prominent street.

A letter writer who had been stationed at Fort Bragg for the previous three years thanks the newspaper, says that he could get along without the Army but not The News. He wants a one-year subscription.

A poem by Merrill Moore, "Compulsive Scholar", is reprinted from The Saturday Review of Literature. We shan't, however, be compulsive and set it out verbatim.

Because we are sick and tired of hearing about a "stolen Democratic nomination" or at least "an unfair nomination process", mainly from the far right supporting the Republican nominee, but also of late from a few sore losers apparently supporting Senator Sanders, though he, himself, being sensible, has never made such claims, we take a moment to blow up those contentions—and it only takes a moment.

First, there is nothing unfair about the Democratic nominating process, especially when compared to the Republican process. In the latter race, 32 of the primaries were winner-take-all or winner-take-most, with a percentage threshold required to accumulate any delegates, especially unfair in a large field where, until April 19 and the New York primary, after 33 primaries and caucuses, the eventual nominee had not even polled 50 percent in any primary or caucus. By refreshing contrast, the Democratic delegates were awarded in every primary in proportion to the popular vote. Nothing could be fairer on the Democratic side.

The great objection and source of claims of a "rigged" process come from the existence of superdelegates on the Democratic side—nothing new, dating back to 1976, the first election in which more than a handful of primaries and caucuses were held by each party, the superdelegates being merely in deference to the old system of party control of the nominating process, prior to the uniform primary-caucus system. Retaining some vestige of party control of that process is sensible as it prevents a party from being hijacked by an outside candidate who is not in fact a true member of the party except for purposes of a particular election. Had the Republicans adopted a more sensible system of selection, they would not be saddled with the person they now have as a nominee, plainly not qualified to be President either by experience, knowledge or temperament, and considered not to embrace traditional Republican values in any event.

But in the end, the superdelegates made no difference in the outcome of the Democratic nominating process. For former Secretary of State Clinton accumulated 2,205 regular delegates awarded in the primaries and caucuses, 359 delegates more than the 1,846 regular delegates accumulated by Senator Sanders. Thus, even without the superdelegates, Secretary Clinton still would have the decisive majority. The 602 superdelegates who chose to support Secretary Clinton, compared to 48 for Senator Sanders, made no difference in the outcome. While 177 of those superdelegates were necessary to reach the required total of 2,382 to garner the nomination, obviously, had there been no superdelegates, the required total for nomination would have been only a majority of the 4,051 ordinary delegates chosen in the primaries and caucuses, or 2,026. Secretary Clinton had therefore 179 more than the necessary majority of those delegates.

Thus, with or without the superdelegates, Secretary Clinton would be the decisive nominee. Nothing has been "stolen" or "unfairly" determined.

The contest which was launched at one point a couple of months ago and apparently fizzled, regarding variance between exit polls and actual results, was a non-starter. Only three primaries in smaller states, amounting to a small number of delegates, showed significant variance such that the exit poll had Senator Sanders winning in a close race while Secretary Clinton finally won the actual count by a small percentage. The remainder of the states where there was a significant variation between the exit polling and the final results made no difference in the outcome. Most of the variations were small in any event and where large, some outcomes favored Senator Sanders and others, Secretary Clinton. There was no clear pattern suggesting "fraud". In other words, the candidate who won the primary had won in the exit polling, usually decisively in both instances, and the difference did not impact the outcome. Moreover, exit polling, it should be remembered, does not reflect absentee balloting or voting by mail, increasingly higher in American elections.

So, unless you wish to be called stupid, crazy, or dishonest, please stop making those silly claims. Nothing was rigged. Nothing was the least bit unfair. And certainly nothing was stolen. The democratic process went forth. Senator Sanders ran a good, clean race and so did Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton won more votes and delegates in the final tally. That is an indisputable fact. Those sore losers or right wingers trying to stir up a cloud of suspicion by seeking to maintain something different, are, insofar as actual supporters of Senator Sanders, going down the course of 1968 when disaffected and disillusioned young Democrats bitterly opposed to the War in Vietnam and who had favored either Senator Robert Kennedy, fatally shot June 4, or Senator Eugene McCarthy, learned a hard lesson, enabling Richard Nixon, playing off division in the country, to win the general election against Vice-President Humphrey and then proceed, through five and a half tortuous years, to make four Supreme Court appointments, impacting the country for a generation, and to set up a nearly fascist "law and order" atmosphere in the land, often through surreptitious conduct, the dirty tricks, taking the country down a course which took nearly twenty years afterward fully to overcome.

Don't make that same mistake. We are telling you from experience, not merely study of the time, as the people who are making this mistake appear young and callow in the political process and its portents. The decision you make this year will be around for 20 to 25 years in the resulting tilt of the Supreme Court alone, given the present vacancy which will tip numerous decisions 5 to 4 one way or the other. You will regret acting out of spite, either by sitting on your hands or voting for the Republican, merely for perceived wrongs which, upon reflection, you will come to realize have not in fact occurred in the Democratic nominating process. Don't throw away your vote and satisfy the dirty tricksters at work among you, no doubt being orchestrated or at least stimulated and cheered on by one of Richard Nixon's chief dirty tricksters, still very much around in the Republican's campaign.

For if you wish, for spite, to vote for the Republican nominee, then obviously you have no political identity and did not support, in fact, Senator Sanders and that for which he stood in the campaign in the first instance, as he has wisely told you the danger in that course in no uncertain terms. He is certainly not "selling out" anybody or anything by endorsing Secretary Clinton and it is quite detracting from his honorable run for the nomination to suggest such a thing. The recalcitrant attitude furthermore suggests that what was actually intended by many of his supporters, though not by the candidate himself, was not an honorable attempt to put forth alternative progressive policy, much of which has been, as a result of his run, incorporated into the Democratic platform, but rather to hijack the democratic processes of the Democratic Party, either because of a determined agenda to confuse the electorate and thereby swing the election to the Republican or simply for the sake of making a statement to the effect, "Our way or the highway", the viewpoint of the fascist, not the true agent of progressive change.

Make a wise choice, not a foolish one out of emotion, because you did not get what you wanted.

The truth of the matter is that there is no ideal President, no ideal candidate, and there never has been. Government in the United States has to occur through compromise of policy, though not of principle. Nothing is accomplished in this country of divided powers except by a slow process of change through a series of compromises over time. The system was "rigged" that way wisely by the Founders. Study it before yelling "rigged" election and condemning all politicians as "corrupt" for "selling out", assuming that is your true belief and not just one being expressed with the hidden purpose of electing the Republican—as we have no doubt whatsoever was the case among many of the "protesters" in Chicago in 1968.

Everyone is flawed in one way or another, just as in the general population of human beings. But that is not to say that we choose "the lesser of two evils", a rather cynical approach to the democratic process, renouncing it for what? autocratic rule by either a benevolent dictator or royalty?

We have a clearly defined choice in this election, between an experienced Democrat with a proven track record of progressivism when she was a Senator from New York for eight years and exceptional experience in foreign policy as Secretary of State for four years after that—there having been no President in modern history, not since Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan, who had been Secretary of State before entering on the presidency—, and a Republican nominee without any experience in government, a blank slate in terms of matching promises with action in office, the most ill-prepared major party presidential nominee in the country's history and one who, with his repeated irresponsible statements of bigotry and division, makes it plain daily that he has no grasp of how to be the chief executive officer presiding daily for four years over the nation's welfare, effecting coalition and cooperation for change rather than division, leading only to disruption, not busy opening hotels, casinos, and golf courses in Scotland, or hawking shirts and ties produced by virtual slave labor overseas while hypocritically decrying the shipping of American jobs overseas, seeking to blame the current Administration for a process ongoing for over 40 years, a function of economic conditions motivating companies to follow the profit motive and Congresses unwilling to provide the necessary tax incentives to keep jobs in this country while balancing the necessity of foreign trade to promote not only jobs here and abroad but to stabilize world economy to avoid the calamity of regional or world war. No President, standing without the cooperation of a usually very divided Congress, can alone effect such changes of the very hard S.O.B. business attitude which the Republican nominee, himself, displays in his own businesses with a shrug of his shoulders: "I'd love to do it differently, but they don't make that stuff over here anymore." In his case, he has such wealth and diversity of businesses that he could do it differently by simply refraining from being in the tie and shirt business, for instance, or in any other business utilizing virtual slave labor overseas to maximize profits.

The choice has never been so clear-cut in terms of experience and enunciated policy, to the extent that the Republican has made any discernible, coherent policy statements which are consistent and not the dissociative ramblings of an apparent lunatic or senile fool unable to control his emotional outbursts for more than about 15 minutes at a time, in love with the impersonal, brief means of communication, the attack-dog motif, afforded by his often icy Twitter Tweets, making himself into a "morose moron" if there ever was one.

Saying, for instance, as he did today, that he hoped that the Russian computer hackers could "find" Secretary Clinton's 30,000 deleted e-mails which the Republican believes, in line with his nonsensical and absurd views questioning the U.S. birth of President Obama, would contain a smoking gun regarding the attack on the U.S. Embassy at Benghazi in 2012, is encouraging of espionage and engages therefore in aiding and abetting same, a serious criminal offense. That is a person unfit to be President, perhaps more fit for a jail cell in which to chill out for awhile, that he might Tweet there in a different way, to achieve approval of the guards and the warden.

By the way, regarding Benghazi, do you remember the truck-bomb attacks on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, taking the lives of 241 Americans? Was that the fault of the President and the Secretary of State? Or was it the fault of terrorists hell-bent to make a statement against those they regard as Western Infidels, intruders on their sacred soil? Consider carefully your answer, and all that it implies about you, before responding by Tweet or, preferably, via a more thoughtful and consistent application of reason.

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