Pot Shots

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Don’t mutter when you use the card catalogue. FBI Director William Sessions explains his agency’s efforts to turn librarians into informers: “We expect librarians to be aware of things that in their minds are in fact foreign, hostile intelligence-gathering efforts.”

Before he had his polyps removed. “In every one of the far-flung trouble spots, dig deep enough and you’ll find the Soviet Union stirring a witch’s brew … ”
– Ronald Reagan, 1980.

Trying to keep airplanes up. Frank Lorenzo, chair of Texas Air, blamed safety investigations against his airlines on union leaders who are “trying to bring the company down.”

What are friends for? According to Roy Cohn’s recent biography, the former McCarthy aide’s philosophy was “I don’t want to know what the law is, I want to know who the judge is.”

He won’t like the answer. Secretary of State George Shultz commented on the U.S. peace plan for a Middle East settlement: “We have a package that is promising-at least we think it is promising. Whether anyone else thinks it is promising is a question.”

Don’t worry, we won’t. As Austria marked the 50th anniversary of its annexation by Nazi Germany, Austrian President Kurt Waldheim laid a wreath on a monument to victims of fascism and said in a televised speech, “We must not forget that many of the worst Nazi hangmen were Austrians.”

They can breathe if they keep it quiet. After outlawing political activity by the 2-million-member United Democratic Front, 15 other groups, and the nation’s largest trade union, South African Law and Order Minister Vlok explained, “It must be emphasized that the government does not wish to prohibit all activities of the organizations concerned–only those which endanger the safety of the public, the maintenance of law and order or the termination of the state of emergency.”

Or call it a day. After being photographed with a prostitute and asked to resign as head of his $140 million TV ministry, Jimmy Swaggart announced, “I do not plan in any way to whitewash my sin or call it a mistake.”

Sounds like Reagan, must be Larry Speakes. At a February 24 press conference, President Reagan described the agreement he had with Secretary of State Shultz and former Defense Secretary Weinberger on the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran: “They did not object to the idea of, that we were trading arms for hostages. Their objection was that, if and when this became known, as it would be, it would appear that we were trading hostages for, or arms for hostages.”

Sounds like Reagan, must be Larry Speakes. During a debate among Republican candidates for president, NBC’s Edwin Newman reminded George Bush of his 1981 banquet toast to Ferdinand Marcos: “We love your adherence to democratic principles and processes.”

George lies again. At the end of a subdued campaign speech, George Bush shared his inner self: “I may not articulate much, but I feel.”

Let’s see what he can do with a beach ball. During a debate among Democratic candidates in St. Paul, Michael Dukakis bragged, ”I’m the only one on this platform who has balanced a budget.”

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