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A 1980 memo from then-freshman House member Gingrich may be the original inspiration for Ronald Reagan's "are you better off than you were four years ago?" line from a presidential debate the same year.
In 1981, Gingrich co-founded the Congressional Military Reform Caucus (MRC) as well as the Congressional Aviation and Space Caucus. During the 1983 congressional page sex scandal, Gingrich was among those calling for the expulsion of representatives Dan Crane and Gerry Studds. Gingrich supported a proposal to ban loans from the International Monetary Fund to Communist countries and he endorsed a bill to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.
In 1983, he founded the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS), a group that included young conservative House Republicans. Early COS members included Robert Smith Walker, Judd Gregg, Dan Coats and Connie Mack III. The group expanded over time to comprise several dozen representatives who met each week to exchange and develop ideas. Gingrich's analysis of polls and public opinion identified the group's initial focus. Ronald Reagan adopted the "opportunity society" ideas for his 1984 re-election campaign, supporting the group's conservative goals on economic growth, education, crime, space exploration and social issues, which he had not emphasized during his first term. Reagan also referenced an "opportunity" society in the first State of the Union address of his second term.
Contra militants based in Honduras waged a guerilla war to topple the government of Nicaragua. The Contras' form of warfare was "one of consistent and bloody abuse of human rights, of murder, torture, mutilation, rape, arson, destruction and kidnapping." The "Contras systematically engage in violent abuses... so prevalent that these may be said to be their principal means of waging war." A Human Rights Watch report found that the Contras were guilty of targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination; kidnapping civilians; torturing and executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat; raping women; indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian homes; seizing civilian property; and burning civilian houses in captured towns.
Direct funding of the Contras insurgency had been made illegal through the Boland Amendment, the name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984 aimed at limiting US government assistance to the Contras militants. In violation of the Boland Amendment, senior officials of the Reagan administration continued to secretly arm and train the Contras and provide arms to Iran, an operation they called "the Enterprise".
Originally posted by Ex_CT2
I'm a little reluctant to believe prematurely. But I eagerly await further info. This could be big enough to squash a particularly nasty bug....