Til MICHiGAN DAILY
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Friday, June 15, 1973 News Phone: 764 0552
Nixon is stalling
ICKY" DICK Nixon is truly getting desperate. With
the shadow of Watergate hanging over him and
ready to possibly eclipse him at any moment, the Presi-
deut knows he must quickly prove that he can still serve
effectively from his desk in the Oval Office.
The polls have shown that the public's number one
concern is rising prices, so Nixon seized upon this issue
as his big chance for a daring move. Wednesday night,
attempting to regain his stature as the pre-Watergate
Nixon --the 61 percent of the populace-approved Nixon
-he announced an immediate freeze on all retail prices,
including food prices.
And in presenting this "surprise package", Nixon did
indeed assume his former "leader" stature. He strongly
assured the public that all was right with the economy
-even though in truth, unemployment is at a high rate
of five percent, and the rate of inflation is almost ten
percent so far this year.
Nor would Nixon admit that Phase III was an utter
failure, even though the necessity of further action on
Nixon's part bears this out.
IN REALITY, Nixon and his advisors aren't sure as to
how to handle this country's economic problems,
which is showing repercussions in world markets. The 60-
day price freeze was imnosed to give Nixon and Co. extra
time to work something out: that something being the
promised "Phase IV."
The freeze in itself is basically meningless. It will
merely serve to nacifv the public for 60 days as they see
the already inflated nrices of early June remain stable.
Unfortunstelv, the freeze is bound to have it nega-
tive effects Prices which are held down for two months
will undoubtedly lean higher afterwards to regain any
losses, barrine any Presidential or Congressional action
to prevent this. Furthermore. farm arices have not been
frozen, and farmers can thus be expected to ask for
higher prices for their products, which may be turned
down at the retail level. Consequently, farmers may with-
hold their commodities from the market in protest, or
may sell abroad for high prices, creating a shortage at
home. Experts are predicting a black market for farm
goods resulting from this freeze.
NIXON DOES have an ace up his sleeve for controlling
farm prices. He is attempting to get power from Con-
gress to control farm exports. If he succeeds, he will at-
tempt to curtail exports of such farm commodities as
wheat, barley, corn, rice and soybeans. He believes that
such an action could increase supply at home, thus bring-
ing down the price. He also believes that without a
higher-priced world market to deal in, farmers might
have to sell at lower American prices.
This plan may have its merits. However, for it to
succeed, Nixon must have the support of Congress and
the public. And initial reaction to Nixon's speech
Wednesday night was unfavorable.
THE PRESIDENT has an ever-widening credibility gap,
and with Watergate endangering his future ability
to preside over this country, it is more urgent than ever
for Nixon to narrow that gap.
w ~ N
The Gemstone Gang, Part One:
A rough night in the Oval Room
(Editor's Note: The following
is the first of numerous in-
stallments depicting the strange
and terrible tale of that inept
band of hoodlums and criminals
disguised as government of-
ficials, The Gemstone Gang.)
By DAN BIDDLE
IT WASa rough night at the White
Non Ziegler, pocket dictionary
clutched firmly to his breast, pac-
ed the floor at one end of the of-
fice. Under his breath, the youth-
f.sl, vaguely handsome mouthpiece
of the NixonAdministration mut-
tered something incomprehensible
shout the Oval Room's infernal
lack of dark corners for innocent
vyoung men to hide in.
Gordon Liddy smoked his 473rd
NMittifilter of the evening and crush-
ed the butt out between his scar-
red fingers. Exhausted from long
hours of unenlightened contempla-
tion, the balding saboteur loosened
his collr with a swift, violent mo-
tion that sent a button flying across
the room and pinging against a
window with a sound not unlike that
of an electronic telephone bugging
l iddy slammed his fist down on
the President's 10-by-15 foot mar-
ble desk and exclaimed, "Damn
it to Hell." The words rang against
tradition-soaked wooden walls, and
as if to mimick Liddy, echoed,
"Hell, Hell, Hell . .
IN ANOTHER part of the office,
a man in a blond wig and a black
Lone Ranger mask paused from
several minutes of self-contempla-
tion, before a full-length mirror and
declared, "Yeah, to Hell and
The man despaired of looking at
himself and ripped off the mask-
and-wig combo to reveal the in-
scrutable mug of E. Howard Hunt.
To the expert hidden-cameraman
or the casual wiretapper, the look
or the sound of Hunt and Liddy
would have made it abundantly
clear that these were two men cut
from the same clay: both spat out
their words with that acid sharp-
ness known only to men who have
spent most of their adult lives com-
municating via walkie-talkie and
speaking largely in code.
And both figures bore the strange,
bent quality that comes from years
of eavesdropping and picking locks.
If Sergeant Joe Friday grew up
with his nose to the ground, How-
ard Hunt and Gordon Liddy reach-
ed adulthood with their ear to the
NEXT TO HUNT'S mirror stood
a row of mannequin heads, each
tagged, "Costumes International
Agency." Each dummy was adorn-
ed with a wig of a different color;
several featured sideburns a n d
A door opened and a column of
light fell on the row of wigged
dummies. The faceless heads ap-
peared to laugh in eerie unison at
the dark, silhouetted figure in the
Itrwas Mel Laird.
"Oh, sorry, fellas. I didn't mean
to intrude. I'm pretty new around
here, I thought this was the door
to the bathr-"
"Scram," spat Liddy. L a i r d
scratched his billiard-like head mo-
mentarily and executed a neat U-
Hunt and Liddy grew restless and
began searching the President's
desk for bugging devices. Hunt
mumbled something about Jack An-
SOON THE DOOR reopened and
four figures rose from the dark-
ness. Jeb Stuart Magruder, Patrick
Gray, and John Dean entered the
room single-file. Dean pulled up the
rear, lugging a mammoth filing
case -on a pair of bicycle training
Zeigler spoke at once.
"Is Dick here?"
"Yeah, he'll be up in a minute,
but he's not in a very good mood,"
answered Magruder. "I wouldn't
call him that to his face tonight
When he's not chasing under-'
cover agents, Dan Biddle is a
night editor at The Daily and is
currently observing the downfall
of the United States government
with considerable glee.
HIS ASSOCIATES called him "Dick" in private moments. What was
his incredible secret?
if I were you."
"Call him what?"
"Oh." Zeigler slunk into the space
behind Hunt's mirror; it was the
closest thing he could find to a
From far down the corridor came
the sound of more footsteps. This
time the clack of hobnailed boots
filled the Oval Room; John Dean's
teeth began to chatter audibly at
Two heavy-set women in 1 o n g
dresses and broad-brimmed hats
moved through the door. After re-
moval of various paraphernalia the
faces and dorms of Bob Haldeman
and John Ehrlichman emerged.
Haldeman handed the coverup gear
to Hunt and said, "Thanks."
Hunt said, "Don't mention it -
at least not in public."
Dean chuckled nervously, "Pro-
bably wouldn't be real wise to talk
about it in private either. You
never know who's bugging who
these days. Why, just last week
someone was telling me that
"If I were in your position,
wouldn't think that was very funny,
John," Haldeman interjected.
SUDDENLY THE bristle-topped
bureaucrat and somewhat paunch-
ier sidekick snapped to perfect at-
tention at either side of the door.
The other men rose to their feet
and grew silent.
It was so quiet in the Oval
Room that the casual wiretapper
could have heard a pin drop.
One couldn't tell at first, b u t
within seconds there was no mis-
That was Richard Milhaus Nixon
behind those Foster-Grants.
And the face behind the Foster-
Grants on that strange night would
have swept the hemorrhoid-suffer-
ers' vote with a single TV appear-
But Dick Nixon's troubles weren't
behind him yet.
He wore the look .of a man who
had eaten one of his feet for din-
ner and had all night to think about
eating the other one for break-
Continued next week. Watch
this space for more exciting
To The Daily:
REMEMBER THOSE Democratic
ads last fall, trying to excuse why
their Councilmen opposed an HRP
lettuce boycott resolution? Remem-
ber how RP was just a bunch of
pseudo-radicals out to exploit the
So what do we see in last Fri-
day's Daily but a half-page photo
of Bob Harris and Fred Postill
picketing AP. If you'd like to
write this letter off as sour grapes
(or rotten lettuce), okay, go ahead.
It's not Democrats getting publicity
for suporting the boycott - that's
fine, if it will help the boycott.
(Maybe they'll even force some of
my fellow HRP members off their
asses, especially the non-picketers
who make.such a valid.theoretical
point about the need for non-elec-
toral action and support of the
That picture fails to show Harris
last October, out to defeat the boy-
cott resolution because HRP had-
n't asked for Democratic co-spon-
sorship. It neglects the hundreds of
hours that HRP officials and mem-
bers have put in over the last few
months picketting A&P (with no
Democrats in sight), not thinking
(like the Democrats) to put party
<abels on our signs.
It doesn't catch little moments of
truth. like former Democratic lib-
eral office-holders ex-Councilman-
Meade and ex-Congressman Clev-
enger refusing to honor the picket
line. And you never find out that
the Democrats are five months late
to the A&P boycott, making sure to
issue a press release to the Ann
Arbor News that Harris and Postill
would picket FOR ONE HOUR.
Such are the ironies of partisan
politics. Meanwhile, the f ar m
workers are spared the luxury of
choosing when to picket. The grow-
ers, the Teamsters, and the govern-
ment have given them their secret
weapon - no choice.
You can at least choose to boy-
write your reps!
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm
253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm
353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), Rm
412, Cannon Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep),
Senate, State Capitol Bldg., Lan-
sing, Mi. 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem),
House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, Mi.