Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 38,006
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 38,006
(This dude's family used to own the station and he used to have a wingnut firebreathing show. They eventually went all LIMBOsevic, O'REILLY, HANNITY, SCHLESSINGER, INGRAHAM, BecKKK, etc.)
******* My e-mail to him: ******
Your theme on Thursday when I monitored your radio carnival was: “Why have we gotten so polarized?!”
This is rich on quite a few levels. But for starters, I can put a precise date on the polarization, which is: When LIMBOsevic went national. I mean, these things are cyclical and have happened before, like when GOLDWATER was a firebreather before his mellowing, and the BIRCHers, and before them Father COUGHLIN firebreathing on FDR, and on and on.
But I remember the “good” old days of K***, good with the exception of you in your firebreathing incarnation. Yaaas, you personally have toned yourself down because ****** replaced you and unexpectedly surpassed you in virulence (and you’re getting OLD?). The rest of the day was the mild doctors Joy BROWN, Dean EDELL, and David VISCOTT, although VISCOTT did have a bit of an EDGE on him.
I remember the SHOCK of even the theme song of LIMBOsevic’s, then his first six weeks of spelling his name, and his totally focused strategy of excising ALL “FRINGE” and WACKO callers with his purpose of making Wingnutism RESPECTABLE. Even you, wingnut that you are, were TIMID about swinging your whole line-up over to him, finally taking the decision to run him LIVE for the whole three hours and deleting the local Noon reporting. In the next few years all the MILD yakkers were ditched in favor of the whole wingnut enchilada.
So the first level of JOKE coming from you is NOW whining about how POLARIZED we are, when you and your outlet locally have done all you could (with your 50 audience) to MAKE IT SO. Your picayune outlet is a microcosm of the national polarization. That was the late ‘80s. Then LIMBOsevic (again) was instrumental in inflicting GINGRICH and his bloodthirsty horde on the country.
LIMBOsevic is all about SCORCHED EARTH, NO compromise, all or nothing. You have said before that you don’t agree with EVERYTHING he says and that GINGRICH’s personal immorality repels you, which is the slimmest reed that I give you credit for. But your dulcet tone and telling callers to be NICE and RAYGUN’s SMILE are the lipstick on the pig: Your ideology is HORRENDOUS for people and pretty facades are POTEMKIN.
Posted by UTUSN | Sat Nov 3, 2012, 11:55 AM (0 replies)
Here’s a question: Single issues are a big wingnut wedge. Like, the Catholic church might well share social justice and social welfare issues totally with the Dem agenda, but the SINGLE ISSUE of Choice sways a fair number of them into the Rethug column. Wingnuts often guilt that Catholics ought to be TOTALLY anti-Choice or else not pretend to be Catholics.
But this election cycle wingnuts have been trying to debunk the Lib strength with women by claiming that women are NOT so simple as to be swayed by the single issue of “women’s (contraception; reproductive rights)” but instead are MULTI-FACETED, are household budget managers, concerned and affected by the economy, work, etc.
So, Wingnut Wizard, which is it, manipulate and exploit the single issues gambit or NOT? I'm SO confused!1
Posted by UTUSN | Thu Nov 1, 2012, 10:23 PM (3 replies)
Sunday, John Mc5PLANES (McCAIN who crashed about 5 planes) was whining that the requests for security were so known that the ambassador had "even" told HIM about it, so it stands to reason that Mc5PLANES did NOTHING!1
And the key meme of the day is: "Somebody told me this is as bad as Watergate, well, nobody DIED in Watergate."
I don't know why Mc5PLANES and GINGRICH are seen as desirable guests for media yakking.
Wingnuts are pinning their hopes on PETRAEUS, but PETRAEUS has Romnesia!1
Wingnut outlets are aflood with hopes that PETRAEUS is “throwing OBAMA under the bus” and that he says “It wasn’t me” (who supposedly denied requests for help.
Well, that wasn’t what he was saying when he sent early briefings to Congress critters or when he testified, and a Rethug critter says there was no daylight between what he and what the Administration were saying at the time.
But the backdrop for all of their faux outrage is: TeaBagger congress critters blocked funds for State security since 2010. RAYGUN cut and ran when 299 marines & other personnel were bombed in Beirut; should he have FORESEEN it or responded in kind within an HOUR?!1 Besides that he negotiated with and armed terrorists. The Cuban 1st generation Exiles/CIA-ers hated JFK/Dems for their claims for military air support. VFW bars were frequent scenes of ground combat vets griping against Air Force vets for generically/anecdotally not providing air support upon IMMEDIATE demands.
CIA saw possible terror ties day after Libya hit: AP (my/UTUSN edit:: “But...”)
AP/ October 19, 2012, 5:18 AM
.... Such raw intelligence reports by the CIA on the ground would normally be sent first to analysts at the headquarters in Langley, Va., for vetting and comparing against other intelligence derived from eavesdropping drones and satellite images. Only then would such intelligence generally be shared with the White House and later, Congress, a process that can take hours, or days if the intelligence is coming only from one or two sources who may or may not be trusted.
U.S. intelligence officials say in this case, the delay was due in part to the time it took to analyze various conflicting accounts. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the incident publicly, explained that it "was clear a group of people gathered that evening" in Benghazi, but that the early question was "whether extremists took over a crowd or they were the crowd." ....
"The early sense from the intelligence community differs from what we are hearing now," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said. "It ended up being pretty far afield, so we want to figure out why ... though we don't want to deter the intelligence community from sharing their best first impressions" after such events in the future.
"The intelligence briefings we got a week to 10 days after were consistent with what the administration was saying," said Rep. William Thornberry, R-Texas, a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees. Thornberry would not confirm the existence of the early CIA report but voiced skepticism over how sure intelligence officials, including CIA Director David Petraeus, seemed of their original account when they briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill. ....
Two officials who witnessed Petraeus' closed-door testimony to lawmakers in the week after the attack said that during questioning he acknowledged that there were some intelligence analysts who disagreed with the conclusion that an unruly mob angry over the video had initiated the violence. But those officials said Petraeus did not mention the CIA's early eyewitness reports. He did warn legislators that the account could change as more intelligence was uncovered, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the hearing was closed. ....
Posted by UTUSN | Thu Nov 1, 2012, 05:50 PM (0 replies)
In the BBC's "The Mormon Candidate," featured for a month on Current TV, it's described that in the swearing into Mormonism ceremony, one of the rituals is a throat-slitting gesture to signify doing that before divulging church secrets.
Secrecy. It's Mittens/church m.o. A few years ago they had a commercial on t.v. offering a very beautifully produced DVD about Easter/Jesus, very authentic looking costumes, acting, whatever. The deal was it was free but with an agreement to let missionaries visit once.
Besides being enticed by the DVD, I was curious in a very non-biased way about what they believed, as much as about whatever other meditative system (Taoism, Buddhism, whatever). So these two polite young dudes arrived, inquired about my intentions a bit, asked me to lead a prayer for them, which I in my 50 or so years of secular humanism did an unimpressive job of and they were clearly unimpressed. So I asked them what they believed. They went into an automatic babble about Jesus Jesus Jesus. I said that, O.K., I was familiar with that topic so what ELSE did their system consist of, what was DIFFERENT. They did a vague verbal tap dance and changed the subject. I said that if there was nothing different I might as well stay as I am.
I posted this story before and somebody replied that this is known as the "milk before meat" strategy, that an infant can only process milk and can't do the meat thing until later, that the Mormons are trained on this.
So, Mittens keeps being expected to tell about his finances and his religion and his agenda, and he does this vague verbal tap dance and most of us think of this in secular terms like "flip flopping" but it's a deeply engrained feature of his belief system.
In "The Mormon Candidate" Mittens' second cousin who left the church and says he is "alienated" (shunned) from his family says that they "don't realize the degree to which they engage in brain washing" and that they are "masters of mendacity."
Posted by UTUSN | Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:59 AM (48 replies)
It looks like he's back on board on the Dem side. Yeah, I know about his leg tickle or trickle for OBAMA in '08, but my distrust of him at the time was as strong as ever after his decade and a half of trashing Dems -- CLINTON, GORE in 2000, his love affair with Shrub and Mc5planes. So in '08 I was wary that his OBAMA twinge might just be an outlet against the CLINTONs. But he seems to be hitting the Rethugs hard every day now, granted I monitor him much less than I did by far.
Anyway, it won't be anytme soon that I decide on the Pardon. And it will not erase this (from the old Demopedia) :
Etymology of "Tweety". During Campaign 2000 the media noise machine was swooning over the nicknames Shrub was giving some of them. Media Whores Online ran a contest to nickname Chris MATTHEWS. In the first three or so weeks, there was no clear, catchy front runner, with "The Screamer" sort of leading. Then one of MATTHEWS's own Hardball staff leaked to MWO that they themselves called him "Tweety" because of the Clairol shade of hair coloring he favored. This was immediately declared the winner. But in some quarters, it wasn't entirely satisfactory. For one thing, by the time the name was declared, the shade had changed to platinum, leading to a suggestion he be called "Carole LOMBARD".
Plus, "Tweety" sounded too affectionate.
Then M-TV held its 20th or 25th or whatever anniversary, and all the cable echo chambers were doing segments of Britney shedding her duds down to almost nothing. Not to be left behind, Tweety followed suit, with a guest "culture" commentator from Time Mag, the young humor columnist, Joel STEIN. The staff kept re-running the Britney clip, and Tweety was clearly DROOLING disgustingly. STEIN said, "You're beginning to creep me out." Tweety responded, "Yeah, well, wait till YOU're 50." This led to the suggestion that "Tweety" be modified to "Tweezer" to retain the hair reference while canceling out the affection factor and also adding the (dirty old) "geezer" angle.
Darrell HAMMOND "Doing" Tweety on SNL. Tweety's ego was massively stroked after the debut of HAMMOND's impersonation of him, either in 2001 or 2002. He said, "I am now an ICON: I have been 'done' on Saturday Night Live'." The funniest line in the debut was HAMMOND as Tweety, cracking himself up with, "For the ... FIFTY ... people who watch this show...” (Hardball, not SNL). In the first few times HAMMOND featured him, the target was Tweety himself -- manically interrupting, spitting, and drooling. However, the characterization evolved, not true to the original, where Tweety became the "rational" character surrounded by oddball, extremist "guests", with HAMMOND-Tweety shaking his head in disbelief at their partisan spin.
"Turning" from Being a Democrat. He (like G.E.RUSSERT and Pat CADDELL) still trades on having been a Democrat in the CARTER/O'NEILL era. In the hothouse of big time political flunkydom, STATUS and POWER come from the SUCCESS of your boss. RAYGUN kicked Tweety's bosses' rears, and Tweety gravitated to admiring that "success". When he started up his media career he was mentored by G.E. RUSSERT, who had himself already started "turning" by "reaching out" to LIMBOsevic and expending his formerly-Lib-bleeding-heart on those poor wingnuts who had been maligned and marginalized by the Liberal Elite, lo those many years. Tweety started doing video valentines to RAYGUN, promenading arm in arm with Nancy. He might have tapped into the frenzy of the FAKE impeachment, but "hatred of the CLINTONs" isn't what made him turn. The last time he was identifiably a Democrat was sometime around 1988 when Hardball (the book) was published. Throughout the year of Campaign 2000 he savaged the Dem candidate daily and went on to years of bromance over Shrub, renouncing any Democratic heritage. He said his parents were “cloth coat" (Rethugs), and that basically what first drew him to the Dem side was Irish-Catholic pride over JFK. Not ideology, not idealism. He said the reason he joined the Peace Corps was specifically to avoid going to Vietnam.
How Tweety "Executed" DONAHUE on MSNBC. Tweety was on his book tour for another one of his "books" (large type, wide spaces between lines, blank half-pages). It was in the jingoistic hysteria in the run-up to the illegal Iraq attack. The book was about supposed "Americanism" -- an American Civ 101 ripoff about books and movies and cultural stuff that are essentially American (think, "The Great Gatsby"). So Phil welcomed him as a colleague and peer on Phil's show for the full hour to plug the book. From the moment he appeared, there was a strange, deadly snake look in Tweety's snake eyes. Phil was walking around the audience, apparently not sensing anything, while Tweety was motionless, following him only with his eyes. Phil brought up something or other questioning blind, kneejerk jingoism, and Tweety STRUCK! He started out with venom dripping, "You see, THIS is EXACTLY what's wrong with YOU Liberals: You are NEGATIVE about this country, you find NOTHING good about it," and on and on. It took awhile before Phil figured out what was happening. Later, Phil, devastated and spent, was sitting at the table with Tweety and, weaker and weaker, did some of his trademark shoulder shrugging and arm waving. Tweety delivered the coup de grace, "What's THIS (mimicking the movements)??!! What's with the --APE-- movements???!" Days or a week or two later, Phil's cancellation was announced and took effect.
How Tweety "Triggered" a Gun Incident (re: Kathleen WILLEY). At the height of the FAKE impeachment, Ms WILLEY claimed that a mystery jogger had threatened her or her cat or somebody, with the insinuation that there was a CLINTON connection. Several months later, there was gossip that the jogger had been identified. Tweety hosted her and it appeared they had discussed the identity off camera. He tried mightily to get her to say the name on the air, which she wouldn't do. Finally, he himself blurted it out, "Was it (Name/Surname)?" She wouldn’t confirm it. Within days there was a bizarre incident, with the mentally disabled brother of Pat and Bay BUCHANAN going with a gun to the house of the supposed jogger named by Tweety, where there were only some foreign exchange students present. Later it was determined that the person Tweety named on the air had NOTHING to do with the supposed jogger incident.
"Heroes" Tweety and Tom DeLAY. In the aftermath of the 07-24-98 shooting of two Capitol police officers when the slain officers were duly eulogized and called heroes, Tweety latched on to this, the way we have seen him attempt to glorify himself in other instances: Like saying he was assigned to Africa in the Peace Corps and "WALKED THE SAME GROUND" THAT CHURCHILL had passed through. Or when he said, "I am an ICON! I have been 'done' by SNL!". So now that the Capitol policemen were being called heroes, Tweety came forward to say that HE had been a Capitol policemen, TOO, JUST LIKE THEM, when he was starting out. It turns out that he had worked a (temporary?) job for three months as that. In all the years before the officers were shot and eulogized, he probably NEVER referred to that job, most likely thinking of it as a rent-a-cop turn, until he could see in retrospect the glory that he had been DESTINED to from the beginning.
But he is not the only glory hog. When that incident was happening, the news of the moment reported that Tom DELAY had hopped a plane out of town and immediately turned around in Houston when the incident was over. This show of courage is why he has been dubbed, "Tom-DePLANE!-DePLANE!-DELAY".
But searches of countless news reports of that time show no mention of the hopping-the-plane. Only this is left:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm /... "...House members, many rushing out of town, did not have to remain behind. DeLay slipped out the main door of the Capitol less than 15 minutes after the shooting. He looked stricken. Asked if he'd seen anything, he said, "Did I ever. I don't want to talk about it." Aides rushed him into his waiting car. ...."
Posted by UTUSN | Thu Aug 16, 2012, 08:05 PM (17 replies)
Well, LENNON's "Imagine" would make them apoplectic. But if they would start with this from 19-effing-15. A couple of Mr (Professor?) MacKENZIE's words (like "barbarous" and "cilvilized") might give off a musty smell, but LENNON would feel comfortable with visions of migrating masses unimpeded by arbitrary and artificial national lines. Pat BUCHANAN is daily choking, and will do so for the rest of his life, at the thought that his own demographic is doomed (aren't all the rest?!1). And, zowie, look at the phrase "climatic changes"!1
from, “Myths of Babylonia and Assyria,” by Donald A. MacKenzie, 1915, manybooks.net,2005
Chapter XVI, “Race Movements That Shattered Empires”
It will be seen from the events outlined in this chapter how greatly the history of the ancient world was affected by the periodic migrations of pastoral folks from the steppe lands. These human tides were irresistible. The direction of their flow might be diverted for a time, but they ultimately overcame every obstacle by sheer persistency and overpowering volume. Great emperors in Assyria and Egypt endeavoured to protect their countries from the ‘Bedouin peril’ by strengthening their frontiers and extending their spheres of influence, but the dammed-up floods of humanity only gathered strength in the interval for the struggle which might be postponed but could not be averted.
These migration, as has been indicated, were due to natural causes. They were propelled by climatic changes which caused a shortage of the food supply, and by the rapid increase of population under peaceful conditions. Once a migration began to flow, it set in motion many currents and cross currents, but all these converged towards the districts which offered the most attractions to mankind. Prosperous and well-governed States were ever in peril of invasion by barbarous peoples. The fruits of civilization tempted them; the reward of conquest was quickly obtained in Babylon and Egypt with their flourishing farms and prosperous cities. Waste land was reclaimed then as now by colonists from centres of civilization; the migrating pastoral folks lacked the initiative and experience necessary to establish new communities in undeveloped districts. Highly civilized men sowed the harvest and the barbarians reaped it.
It must not be concluded, however, that the migrations were historical disasters, or that they retarded the general advancement of the human race. In time the barbarians became civilized and fused with the peoples whom they conquered. They introduced, too, into communities which had grown stagnant and weakly, a fresh and invigorating atmosphere that acted as a stimulant in every sphere of human activity. The Kassite, for instance, was a unifying and therefore a strengthening influence in Babylonia. He shook off the manacles of the past which bound the Sumerian and the Akkadian alike to traditional lines of policy based on unforgotten ancient rivalries. His concern was chiefly with the future. The nomads with their experience of desert wandering promoted trade, and the revival of trade inaugurated new eras of prosperity in ancient centres of culture, and brought them into closer touch than ever before with one another. The rise of Greece was due to the blending of the Achaeans and other pastoral fighting folks with the indigenous Pelasgians. Into the early States which fostered the elements of ancient Mykenaean civilization, poured the cultural influences of the East through Asia Minor and Phoenicia and from the Egyptian coast. The conquerors from the steppes meanwhile contributed their genius for organization, their simple and frugal habits of life, and their sterling virtues; they left a deep impress on the moral, physical, and intellectual life of Greece.
"IMAGINE" by John LENNON
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
Posted by UTUSN | Sun Aug 5, 2012, 02:08 AM (5 replies)
For years the Faux Propaganda Network’s Frank LUNTZ has been gimmicking with focus groups, snake-oiling Rethugs about words for them to tailor their propaganda with. He’s the jerk who told them to start using “DemoCRAT Party” instead of DemocratIC Party. And the focus-testing gimmick has been ticking ever since (1994?).
*********** TERM #1: “ASPIRATIONAL”
A few months ago the local radio wingnut started using the word “aspirational” for the naturalized immigrants in his audience, immigrants who turned into Rethugs or errand boys for Rethugs and suddenly were more American in their TeaBagger preaching the Constitution like they owned it MORE than everybody else. It’s the ZEALOUS CONVERT phenomenon, more zealous than the Always-Were-Heres or Born-This-Way-Ones. About demographics that the Old, White base of the Rethugs is fading away, he put his hopes in what he said are the “aspirational” types, the immigrants who ASPIRE to their definition of “American,” which translates largely into MATERIAL SUCCESS (only): The “freedom” to get rich without old country bureaucracy and Union/government economic "controls" (regulation) and to KEEP riches without taxes. Basically robber baronism.
Now, this type that we’ve identified is personified by Ahhhhnuld SCHWARZENEGGER, who WANTED AND WANTED. They WANT. What did he want? Fame; especially fortune; and social status. He got it all with his diversified careers and then marriage into, he told LENO, “a very good family.” After all, he could have married an anonymous Whomever instead of her. When Democratic party regulars remonstrated to her that she was marrying a Rethug, she allayed their disappointment with, “He’s not LIKE THAT, he’s an IMMIGRANT!”
And in this same type are the first waves of Cubans, the BATISTA-ites, who were wingnuts in their own country and fit naturally with the wingnuts here. Ted CRUZ; Marco RUBIO. And it’s not just Latinos. Anybody notice how many wingnuts from Britain are on the radio preaching Americanism to Americans? This is not new. Many British movie stars from the 1940s or before got more fame and fortune in Hollywood than they had in Britain and took tons of criticism back in their ex-country for leaving.
O.K., so the first term was: ASPIRATIONAL.
****************** TERM #2: “SELF-INTERESTED HISPANICS”
Today LIMBOsevic used the phrase, “the self-interested Hispanics.” He was hashing over a Nazi Pat BUCHANAN column about how the Rethugs might win in 2012, but that this will be THE LAST TIME EVER, because the brown people’s population is about to break its water all over the country, overwhelming the old, dying, White people.
But contrary to Term Number One, this one, “the self-interested Hispanics,” is defined (by him and/or? BUCHANAN) as: Everybody on welfare, Disability, Student Loans, everything coming in the form of government checks. Of course, Rethugs never talk about Corporate Welfare, farm subsidies, or all those healthcare businesses collecting from LBJ Democratic MediCARE while attacking all Democratic candidates and policies.
*************************** The cartoon of the man trying to snare the moon for himself, captioned, “I want! I want!”, is by William BLAKE, the poet (“Tyger tyger burning bright”), identifying WANTING (things) as the source of human problems.
Posted by UTUSN | Sat Jul 28, 2012, 10:07 AM (2 replies)
I don't believe some off-topic threads, such as yours, are meant to annoy. And I similarly do not entertain the "wanting attention" thing. And, I love cute animals and agree with other off-topic threads: I just look for those things in the places set aside for them.
Instead, I disagree with some of your premises:
* "topics in GD unrelentingly serious/grim" - there's plenty of GD/on-topic humor mocking wingnuts. Your premise is that humor, by definition, has to be off-topic for GD in order to be humor. If a "break" is needed, the fabulous multi-faceted DU provides all the other forums (fora?), not to mention pursuing the rest of the internet or just any other life activities, sleeping or whatever.
* "gravitate to certain forums, GD/comfortable." Somebody I agree with said, "Why not post in the appropriate forum to begin with?"
* In another thread on this Meta page, there's this: "then just what is the point of having rules." Others who have railed against the GD SoP have made their case saying that "General" means *anything*. When it was named "Soap Box" did that mean it was supposed to be about soap? So, "then just what is the point of having rules (SoPs)?" Instead of having forums and groups, why not just have one vast venue where EVERYTHING is posted together, from Lounge to Mid-East to guns and everything in between? Plus, this point of view seems to pontificate that THEY (the anti-SoPers) somehow have the unilateral privilege of making up their own rules, which they really could do by founding their own website. So, then, who are the members who must abide by SoPs and who are the ones with privileges to do what they want? I might ask how does a body get on the privileged list, but being Democratic and democratic I don't want to be privileged above any rules.
Really, please, I'm not hostile or negative to you, we don't even know each other for goodness' sake, am just responding on a topic that is a pet peeve that I participate in re-hashing.
Posted by UTUSN | Sat Apr 21, 2012, 01:13 PM (0 replies)
Robert A. CARO. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Vol. 1, The Path to Power, 1981. Vol. 2, Means of Ascent, 1990. Vol. 3, Master of the Senate, 2002.
I had stayed away from this biography because my adult life has been dominated by JFK/LBJ/Vietnam, thankfully less and less, and I thought I knew what I needed to know and really didn't want to know more. I was wrong. I thought the "Box 13" theft of the Senate election in Texas was a small story. It was not. It made Shrub vs. GORE look like a cakewalk. Then CARO has long chapters on the history of the Senate, showing the dysfunction (gridlock) built-in; the history of racism as backdrop for why things happened; the incredible intricacies of parliamentarianism in the service of good or evil; innumerable vignettes of known and not known personages strutting their feeble time on the stage. Decent people destroyed (do you know who Leland OLDS was?) . Sorry for how ignorant I'm exposing myself (nothing new) to be, I'll just jump back to the e-mails:
I have finished reading volume 1 of Robert A. CARO’s monumental 3-volumes-going-on-one-more (due in May ‘12) biography of LBJ. Monumental, not (merely) because of its 768 pages, but because the amount of research and detail, not to mention solid writing, is STUPENDOUS. This first was published in 1981-82. The main and shocking impression is what a devious, personally abusive, grasping, voraciously ambitious human LBJ was, which means the fascination is in how that incomplete list of negatives could have been put in the service of GOOD (Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Medicare/caid, etc. ) .
The 2nd impression is how nothing is new, how today’s antics of gridlock in D.C. and treachery in politics have been played out over and over forever, just that in the particular period of LBJ the characters were FDR, RAYBURN, and scores of other super-sized personalities. In the news this week is how electricity in the Middle East has transformed daily life from crushing labor (refrigeration/food storage) and expanded consciousness by communication with the outside world: Yawn. LBJ brought electricity to the Texas Hill Country, with the same incredible impact on daily life.
His deviousness was, pretending to be a Liberal among Liberals and a Wingnut among Winguts. The “perfect ROOSEVELT man” who on the other hand was a ROOSEVELT-hater in the ROOSEVELT-hater circles of his oilmen fatcats and Confederate boosters. There were NO limits to his treachery, betraying even first RAYBURN and then FDR when it was, uh, CALLED-for, for his ambitions and survival to further.
And the 3rd impression is that, after Mr CARO has totally exposed the thievery, chicanery, class and racial/ethnic hatred, and hypocrisy in American politics, it makes his comments about the “Mexican” politics of South Texas as beyond the pale BY AMERICAN/superior STANDARDS -- this would be a “Huh?” moment, like, did the author forget what he just said about the STUPENDOUS bribery and theft by the supposedly superior Anglos LBJ and Brown & Root (now named “Halliburton“), the millions in cash that Herman and George BROWN dumped down LBJ’s gullet all his political life, not to mention the other uber-fatcats chipping in on all other sides and geography of the American political spectrum: buying federal contracts, favorable legislation, and repressive legislation from compliant Congress critters and Presidents. When Mr CARO refers to the Hispanics in Texas residents has having COME FROM Mexico, he appears to forget that they were probably here for a few centuries, that THIS is their homeland. Plus, while describing the boss system as “Mexican“, he skips over the tiny detail that most and the most powerful political bosses he named were ANGLOS. Uh, WHO said, “La tierra es de quien la trabaja” (The land belongs to who works it)? It was Mexican (in Mexico) Emiliano ZAPATA, not the King Ranch BOYS of Texas. B&R poured cash into LBJ for a couple of scores of years. And got it back exponentially in his bought-and-paid-for legislation.
Last night I finished reading the second volume of CARO’s biography of LBJ. I thought I had done something as a schoolboy when I read, outside of school assignments, a 7 volumes bio of Woodrow WILSON, one of the old fashioned ones that didn’t tell the dirt (a.k.a., “truth”) such that I idolized him for a couple of decades without knowing (remembering?) that he was a racist and a colonialist (but also an idealist). But those 7 volumes were LIGHT in all ways, actual weight and in content, by comparison with this.
The LBJ volume 1 was 700+ pp and dreary and shocking and monumental. I thought #2 would be easy in its JUST 412 pp. Well, it was BAD (good), dreary, covering in the last few LONG chapters, the THEFT of the 1948 senate election by LBJ, the infamous Box 13, the ugly campaign before it, and that campaign and election theft made the GORE vs Shrub court battle look like a children’s party. It’s clear that GORE and everybody had not read this book or everybody would have known what to do. And it was one Supreme Court justice, the sainted Hugo BLACK who put an end to the battle in LBJ’s favor. I thought I knew who some of these people were, Abe FORTAS, well, they were totally MORE brilliant than I ever knew and more crooked than I could ever imagine. The SAME legal arguments were made about the national government NOT interfering in a state election, and the SAME arguments the other way won. And the national “interests” were the same: TRUMAN needed Texas and LBJ, not the personally honest but Wingnutilly reactionary Coke STEVENSON.
And it is clear that even a personally HONEST wingnut would NEVER have passed the first Civil Rights legislation (1957) or the later things of 1964/5, and that what all this means is that we swallow a terrible human if he gets what we want for us, or as RAYBURN put it, “He‘s a s.o.b., but he‘s OUR s.o.b."
Anyway, with two volumes down, I thought it was downhill sledding with the 3rd one, although you can see its like a HUMONGOUS BRICK. Oh. My. Zeus. It’s ONE THOUSAND FORTY pp, and it’s all about LBJ’s Senate years. I had avoided this biography for years because I lived through a couple of decades of it and thought I knew and certainly didn’t want to hear more about the KENNEDYs vs LBJ, or Vietnam. But this 3rd volume doesn’t even get to the KENNEDYS and Vietnam!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 1960 campaign and LBJ’s vice presidency would be in volume 4, which is debuting in May of this year.
Last night I finished (reading) Vol. 3. It was TWELVE years in the writing. A whole, long chapter on the History of the Senate, to show how the dysfunction got that way to begin with and how LBJ bent the traditions and the rules to make it work, even if it was for furthering his ambitions, but increasingly to realize the GLEAMING THREADS of humanity and compassion in the tapestry of his character. How the founders thought it necessary to build-in a braking mechanism on mob rule, but how the Southerners with their rock solid seniority kept the public demand for the causes of Labor and Civil Rights broken and shackled for decade after decade, with popular waves of demand for change and reform, one after another, shut down by the niceties of parliamentary rules, all under the genteel drawl of “the scent of magnolias.”
And the personalities I thought I knew: Ha, the supposedly eloquent (by media hype; not *my* hero; of my youth) Everett DIRKSEN, shown to be a gasbag tool. The little engine who could, President TRUMAN, proposing health care and civil rights programs and having to settle against the Congress critters for what he could get by Executive Order, little things like desegregating the military. The FDR crew, like Olympians. Ha, I thought I knew how magnificent Franklin and Eleanor were, HAH. And always the breathtaking TREACHERY of the LBJ morass, the cruelty starting even with his family and Lady Byrd and extending unsurprisingly to his political enemies, but his own craven, pathetic groveling in desperation when he had to save himself. And then, when the GOLD THREADS of (sincere?) compassion showed themselves, it’s almost like too late to make me scramble a portion of admiration?
Increasingly, as his journey passed milestones of power, one name kept creeping past in the background: Tiberius.
Posted by UTUSN | Sun Mar 18, 2012, 03:15 PM (3 replies)
Within a couple or three days of DU3 I was pleased with myself for having adapted to changes in this fabulous site as I never had adapted to previous changes. After the first changes where I had lectured, "Sometimes there is a perfect stage and change for its own sake doesn't equate with 'improvement,' " when the second round of changes came around I settled into just using the parts that suited me and skipping past the rest.
With DU3 there seemed to be a fascinating mixture of innovation (the jury) and preservation (strengthening of SoP).
But some trends seem to be gaining strength: Reviving what had seemed to be "settled law" (yes, the UnRec, but others, too). And unlocking locked SoP breaches back and forth. And the de facto weakening of the SoP (especially in GD), the bottom line being arbitrariness. And it was unsettling at first to see jury results being posted and picked at, although I guess real life juries after the fact do discuss and are discussed in public.
O.K., I get the "democratic" philosophical impetus fueling the changes --- empowerment and transparency. The change from a top-down ATA to Meta is emblematic, like doing away with Tech Support in favor of Chat Rooms. But it just seems that no decision is really going to be final, and therefore some issues won't ever be settled, and instead of just being Low Maintenance Me with my GD-LBN-Lounge, I'm going to have to keep a constantly wary eye on Meta to see what popular factions are going to take power (until they don't, anymore).
And slightly tangential, the Wish Lists for more and more features seem endless, but then again I *am* low maintenance.
Posted by UTUSN | Sun Dec 18, 2011, 03:20 PM (6 replies)