“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Time For Obama to Resign. Lipstick Pig on Democratic Party Website

Hat Tip: Bobal and American Thinker
...Palin is a red herring, lipstick on the Republican pig to distract Americans from the real issue that under the leadership of the Republicans the last 8 years, our country is falling apart.
Both Palin and McCain think that Americans are whiners. What do you think? Are you a whiner? Do you want more of the same? If you don't, then get out and register at least 5 people and tell them why they should vote a straight Democratic ticket this year.

How about this one? Time for the Democrats to demand that Obama resign.


  1. deuce, check out the video I posted at the end of the last thread.

  2. How come all the good videos get posted when I'm at work? The Navy Intranet disables flash video.

  3. I think to myself, of Churchill, with his two fingers in the air. I think, FDR, or Eisenhower, or Ike's opponent, Adlai Stevenson, none of them would ever do something like that.

  4. Well it's one thing for us bloviators to whine about the lipstick/pig thing, but I hope Sarah herself doesn't even mention it. She's got a good thing going, and victimhood would not become her.

  5. That's right, Teresita, she shouldn't mention it, least not directly, let others do that, she should just float on over it like royalty. In America today things get around so quickly, her best response should be dignity itself, making a telling contrast.

  6. The libs are coming un-glued. They are panicking. The dem celebs are now getting in the mix. They are ALL morphing in to John Kerry. Their boy ain't gonna make it. Hate to see it. NOT

  7. Watch Biden resign for health reasons.

  8. Did I say "boy"? oops...I'm Southern, I should know better

  9. Watch Biden resign for health reasons.

    Watch Obama pick a woman to replace him, maybe even Hillary. "Me too."

  10. "After devilishly mocking Obama — and successfully getting into his head — with ads about how he was just a frothy celebrity, like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, it turns out all the McCain camp wanted was an Obama of its own. Now that they have the electric Palin, they’ve stopped arguing that celebrity is bad. All they do is worship at her cult of celebrity. As Rick Davis, a top McCain adviser, said: “This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.”

    Wasilla will be crawling with four groups — ABC staffers, frantically getting ready for the big showdown; McCain staffers, frantically tutoring Palin for the big showdown; McCain vetters, who are belatedly doing their job checking to see if Palin is a qualified White House contender and doing their best to shut down Troopergate and assembling a “truth squad” posse of Palinistas to rebut any criticism and push back any prying reporters; and journalists — from Sydney to Washington — who are here to draw back the curtain on the shiny reformer image that the McCain camp has conjured for their political ingénue and see what’s behind it.

    Gibson has his work cut out for him. His problem isn’t coming up with a list of questions, but finding time to drill deeply enough into all the unknown territory of her life. It’s a task that dwarfs the drilling job the oil companies are doing on Alaska’s North Slope.

    In the end, none of it may matter, since Palin has rocketed in the polls, drawing women and men with her vapid — if vivacious and visceral — scripted cheerleading. But if you’re reading this, Charlie, we want to know everything, including:

    What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids between Juneau and Wasilla and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home?

    Why was Sarah for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, and why was she for earmarks before she was against them? And doesn’t all this make her just as big a flip-flopper as John Kerry?

    What kind of fiscal conservative raises taxes and increases budgets in both her jobs — as mayor and as governor?

    When the phone rings at 3 a.m., will she call the Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and ask them to pray on a response, as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline?

    Does she really think Adam, Eve, Satan and the dinosaurs mingled on the earth 5,000 years ago?

    Why put out a press release about her teenage daughter’s pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release?

    As Troopergate unfolds here — an inquiry into whether Palin inappropriately fired the commissioner of public safety for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law — it raises this question: Who else is on her enemies list and what might she do with the F.B.I.?

    Does she want a federal ban on trans fat in restaurants and a ban on abortion and Harry Potter? And which books exactly would have landed on the literature bonfire if she had had her way with that Wasilla librarian?

    Just how is it that Fannie and Freddie have cost taxpayers money (since they haven’t yet)?

    Does she talk in tongues or just eat caribou tongues?

    What does she have against polar bears? "

  11. We are witnessing a man, who aspires to be President, crash and burn in reaction to the greatest crisis he has encountered thus far in life, which is really only about him and not about the country (although he clearly cares more about himself than the country). That he has absolutely floundered in full public view is what a now large majority of voters will recall when it comes time to vote. Needless to say, but because it is so enjoyable to do so I will say it anyway - a large majority will not vote for him simply because of this epic failure that is largely of his own making. Justice grinds slow...

  12. We are also witnessing a person who epitomizes the panicking of the libs, who have been knocked back on their heels and are grabbing at straws to stay afloat. That person is: ASH

  13. You know, Ash, when whoever wrote that didn't include the 5th group (the 30 Dem Lawyers looking for trash on Palin) I quit reading.

    Libs never learn.

  14. Don't get too excited, pardners.

    Things could turn on dime and a week from now, the Dems could be riding high. This is a b buster of a bronc ride election and there's plenty of time for our side to git throwed off and stomped on.

  15. Keep em fingers cinched down tight, at right fist clinched and pray yore arm don't come out hits socket.

    Yore one buck away from ass break hotel, busted and laid up, waiting to mend for the next go-round.

  16. Resign, my Ass!
    We WANT this Boy!

    "UPDATE: McCain spokesman Brian Rogers responds: “Barack Obama can’t campaign with schoolyard insults and then try to claim outrage at the tone of the campaign. His talk of new politics is as empty as his campaign trail promises, and his record of bucking his party and reaching across the aisle simply doesn’t exist."

    (I didn't say LEROY, Gag!)

  17. " — and successfully getting into his head — "


  18. "This is a b buster of a bronc ride election "

    Respectful, Whit, RESPECTFUL!

    Don't you listen to our candidate?

  19. "What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids between Juneau and Wasilla and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home?"


  20. ...and she coulda got per diem for the kids, but she did NOT!

    Got rid of the Cook, too, remember?

  21. Gawd, I thot Ash wrote that.
    No Shame Dowd, no Shame.

  22. Leo Linbeck III:
    Whittle’s First Law of Political Reality is

    Every American personally knows five people in our immediate circle who would make a better president than the menagerie of candidates the major parties routinely offer.

    I don’t know either TigerHawk or Wretchard, but they appear to be further evidence in support of the First Law.

    On the other hand, Palin’s nomination may wreck it…


  23. Watchman said...

    “and he didn’t bat an eye.”

    "What a bunch of hypocrites!

    You bitch about Obama smearing Palin then go on to tie him to Jeremiah Wright all over again."

    How did he get untied?

  24. 'Rat said...
    "Dog food brand at Walmart.
    Never get to feed it here at the house, wife thinks the dogs will not like it.
    Give 'em a chance to like it, a choice, I say ...
    Don't know for sure if dogs are affected, but Cat's kidney's are destroyed by the ASH in cheap Pet Foods.
    We get special stuff from the Vet formulated to minimize that, and some stuff to reduce kidney problems.

    Cat's have tiny kidneys compared to lots of other animals, I think.

  25. Similar to how ASH destroys an otherwise pleasant thread.

  26. :)

    sorry to rain on your parade dougo but you guys can faux chortle while expressing faux outrage over Obama's horrible oratory.

  27. A Tale of Two Bridges

    Obama and Biden’s moaning about all of this would be far easier to stomach if they, too, opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. Not so.Obama and Biden had an excellent opportunity to do the right thing.

    Just seven weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) proposed to transfer $125 million from the notorious Bridge’s budget and instead devote it to rebuilding the Interstate 10 Twin Spans Bridge between New Orleans and St. Tammany’s Parish. The storm chopped up the bridge.

    “We have the largest natural catastrophe we have ever seen in our history,” Coburn said on the Senate floor on October 20, 2005. “It is time we reassess the priorities we utilize in this body as we think about our obligations at home.”Coburn’s amendment failed 15-82.

    Obama and Biden were among the “nays.” They and 80 other senators preferred to protect the earmarking tradition than to assist Katrina’s tempest-tossed citizens.

    Obama and Biden put pork first and people second. While the residents of New Orleans and southern Louisiana endured perhaps their greatest challenge since the Civil War, Obama and Biden both turned their backs on these embattled Americans

  28. Shoulda Been Hill [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    Joe Biden, via e-mail, from MSNBC earlier:

    DAVID SHUSTER: we have a town hall going on with joe biden talking about hillary clinton and said she might have made a better vice presidential pick.

    SEN. JOE BIDEN: hillary clinton is as qualified or more than i am to be vice president of the united states of america. she is say close personal friend and qualified to be president of the united states of america. she is easily qualified to be vice president of the united states of america and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me, but she is first-rate. i mean that sincerely.

  29. Yale’s Enduring Shame

    ‘Performance artist” Pia Lindman is the Yale instructor who authorized and guided Aliza Shvarts’s proposed “abortion art” project for a senior art show in the 2007-2008 school year. Yale has once again engaged Lindman to teach during this academic year, to the university’s enduring shame.

    Shvarts’s proposed project, as widely reported, consisted in repeatedly artificially inseminating herself, inducing possible miscarriages, and videotaping herself bleeding into a cup.

    Her plan was then to display her bodily fluids and presumably aborted fetuses in a plastic-wrapped ceiling installation, upon which she would also have projected the videos of said miscarriages. As for the “scholarly” justification for this gruesome display, Shvarts explained in run-of-the-mill postmodern, victimological boilerplate that her intent was “to assert that often normative understandings of biological functions are a mythology … that creates the sexist, racist, ableist, nationalist, and homophobic perspective . . . .”

  30. oh my, the outrage of it all even Biden speaks well of the Hildabeast offending all those hillary booster at the EB.

  31. "What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids between Juneau and Wasilla and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home?"

    Let's compare and contrast...

    Jet Plane........ $2,000,000
    fuel, security, extra labor...

    $50 per diem, and she DROVE herself 45 miles a day each way to and from WORK

    Can you even HIRE a DRIVER for $50 a day? Let alone FEED and shelter her....

  32. HeLLLoO, I'mmmm JOe Diben, an I sssayass, HIlllarrry woda bin bettrn me,,,an dthats the trut.

    In vino veritas.

  33. A beady-eyed McCain gets a boost from the charismatic Sarah Palin, a powerful new feminist -- yes, feminist! -- force.
    Plus: Obama must embrace his dull side.
    By Camille Paglia

    As I said in my last column, I have become increasingly uneasy about Obama's efforts to sound folksy and approachable by reflexively using inner-city African-American tones and locutions, which as a native of Hawaii he acquired relatively late in his development and which are painfully wrong for the target audience of rural working-class whites that he has been trying to reach. Obama on the road and even in major interviews has been droppin' his g's like there's no tomorrow.

    It's analogous to the way stodgy, portly Al Gore (evidently misadvised by the women in his family and their feminist pals) tried to zap himself up on the campaign trail into the happening buff dude that he was not.
    Both Gore and Obama would have been better advised to pursue a calm, steady, authoritative persona. Forget the jokes -- be boring! That, alas, is what reads as masculine in the U.S.

    The over-the-top publicity stunt of a mega-stadium for Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention two weeks ago was a huge risk that worried me sick -- there were too many things that could go wrong, from bad weather to crowd control to technical glitches on the overblown set. But everything went swimmingly. Obama delivered the speech nearly flawlessly -- though I was shocked and disappointed by how little there was about foreign policy, a major area where wavering voters have grave doubts about him. Nevertheless, it was an extraordinary event with an overlong but strangely contemplative and spiritually uplifting finale. The music, amid the needlessly extravagant fireworks, morphed into "Star Wars" -- a New Age hymn to cosmic reconciliation and peace.
    Pow! Wham! The Republicans unleashed a doozy -- one of the most stunning surprises that I have ever witnessed in my adult life. By lunchtime, Obama's triumph of the night before had been wiped right off the national radar screen. In a bold move I would never have thought him capable of, McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his pick for vice president. I had heard vaguely about Palin but had never heard her speak. I nearly fell out of my chair. It was like watching a boxing match or a quarter of hard-hitting football -- or one of the great light-saber duels in "Star Wars." (Here are the two Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, going at it with Darth Maul in "The Phantom Menace.") This woman turned out to be a tough, scrappy fighter with a mischievous sense of humor.
    It is nonsensical and counterproductive for Democrats to imagine that pro-life values can be defeated by maliciously destroying their proponents. And it is equally foolish to expect that feminism must for all time be inextricably wed to the pro-choice agenda. There is plenty of room in modern thought for a pro-life feminism -- one in fact that would have far more appeal to third-world cultures where motherhood is still honored and where the Western model of the hard-driving, self-absorbed career woman is less admired.

    But the one fundamental precept that Democrats must stand for is independent thought and speech. When they become baying bloodhounds of rigid dogma, Democrats have committed political suicide.

  34. soooo bobal,

    what is worse in your view:

    drinking and speaking?


    drinking and driving?

    or do you just hate drinkers? (funny coming from a fellow hanging in a bar).

  35. I can't get over this shit. Obama's off to the digs of The First Black President, there in Harlem, to get on his knees, AND BEG.

    Hillary says, I'm just going to talk about the issues, but I think Sarah Palin is a credit to women everywhere(or something like that, sure didn't criticize her).

    Maybe Obama is gonna tell Bill, I'll throw Biden under the bus, along with my grandmother, Wright(who just fucked his secretary and ruined another marrige--the first time he was doing marriage counseling for a couple, took a liking to the lady, suggested separate counseling sessions, you know the rest)and all the others I've screwed over, if Hillary will please please please be on my ticket!

    Ohhh, Lord!!!

    I get the feeling the Clintons are really enjoying this, the sadists.

  36. I don't hate drinkers.

    I just think it's unbecoming to make a fool of yourself and your nation on public tv on the campaign trail.

    Doesn't make for a good image abroad.

  37. Biden: "...she is easily qualified to be vice president of the united states of america and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me..."

    I do hope the McCain campaign is hard at work putting that quote into an ad. I mean that one is right over the plate.

  38. The EB Obamunist said, "oh my, the outrage of it all even Biden speaks well of the Hildabeast offending all those hillary booster at the EB."

    That's for tomorrow's news cycle. McCain is still reaping the victory of the current Pig newscycle. Do you think we have Obama's attention now?

  39. Men of liquor can be some of the best. Boris Yeltsin, for instance, who was notorious for drink, though I never saw him drunk on tv.

    Got up on that balcony and waved the Russian flag, he did!

    He was a good guy. Much better than Putin the Poisoner. Why he turned it over to the Poisoner I'll never know.

  40. I can't believe Biden would step down, or that Hillary would step up, but, jeez, this year, absolutely anything has been possible.

  41. Whit, your advice is very good. Palin might stumble badly, in the interview, or debate. If she can get through those, she should make it.

    Something else might happen. The news cycles get shorter and shorter. I can't keep up.

  42. I can't believe Biden would step down, or that Hillary would step up, but, jeez, this year, absolutely anything has been possible.

    I think it's a real possibility. I'll actually be surprised if Hussein holds on to Biden.

  43. Bob loses his cool--







  44. Bobal: I can't believe Biden would step down, or that Hillary would step up, but, jeez, this year, absolutely anything has been possible.

    If he does that, then McCalin can go after him on the judgment issue. You don't get second chances at 3AM.

  45. How could Obama possibly throw Biden away now? Nobody, but nobody, would believe a health reason.

    Maybe Joe ought to just go out and get arrested for a DUI.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Bobal: He was a good guy. Much better than Putin the Poisoner. Why he turned it over to the Poisoner I'll never know.

    He said, "That's a nice bottle of vodka you got there, Boris, be a shame if somebody put Strontium-90 or something in it."

  48. Dale's a good guy, publishes poetry in The Golden Times supplement of the paper here. Veteran, too. I always get a kick out of how he expresses things. Kinda direct like.

  49. How could Obama possibly throw Biden away now? Nobody, but nobody, would believe a health reason.

    Heart condition. Doug said he had a stroke a while back.

  50. Bobal: Maybe Joe ought to just go out and get arrested for a DUI.

    That's too much effort, Bobal, and it puts people in danger. Biden should just publish his autobiography, "The Audacity of Hope".

  51. It was always going to be close, ash. Didn't my mother ever tell you that? I believe she did.

    And where would be the good fun and high drama on election night were it otherwise? Where would be the winners' delirious sense of having barely escaped with ones' lives, and the losers' dark sense of rightful reward stolen, the next morning - or month?

    Election night has become THE sleepless night in America. Interesting, that.

  52. ms t wrote:

    "McCain is still reaping the victory of the current Pig newscycle. "

    Do you really think it is a victory? Do you really think the American people are that dumb?

    Maybe they are as evidenced by your conversion to the McCain brigade. Your conversion based on Palin possession of an ovary...

    ... or are you driven like the boys by that thing between the legs?


  53. (2008-09-10) — Presidential candidate Barack Obama has come to the aid of his Democrat colleague, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, by proposing a bill that would fund Spanish language training for members of Congress, and thus ensure they wouldn’t wind up owing thousands of dollars in back taxes on condo investments in the Dominican Republic.

    Rep. Rangel, at a news conference today, said, “cultural and language barriers” prevented him from understanding a deal he made on a Dominican beachfront house, leading to his failure to report to the IRS some $75,000 in rental income.

    Sen. Obama, who has previously decried the lack of Spanish-language training for American school children, today said, “We need to atone for the sins of our fathers, and grandfathers, who left poor Charlie Rangel hopeless in the presence of sneaky Spanish-speaking resort owners.”

    A member of Congress since Sen. Obama was 10 years old, Rep. Rangel said he hoped to pay off his tax bill from profits he’ll earn by subletting rent-controlled properties at fair market prices which he currently leases at below-market rates from a New York City developer.

    Scott Ott

  54. Heart condition. Doug said he had a stroke a while back.

    What the hell is he doing drinking, then?

    Another death seeking democrat?

    What's a little stroke or two, it's just the Vice Presidency, heartbeat away from the big time.

  55. And in Israel, Olmert is in deep do-do.

  56. trish,

    It's funny. I was ruminating on just that as I was making dinner tonight for the kids (wife out of town on business). We've got an election going here in Canada for the top dog and the contrast with what is happening south of the border is night and day. I mean, FoxNews, CNN, they are election central 24/7. Yammerring on and on ad infinitum about what was said by who with analysis by everyone and their brother buttressed by the latest up to minute poll. I've been struck by the sporting nature of the political game in the past but this year is over the top. Incidently I just finished an article by a guy in my local rag who's been covering the goings on down there for months now on how the US system is more democratic then the Canadian system. Interesting, but oh my god, we've got two months to go...

    obama up by two...

    ***NEWS FLASH***
    obama only up by one - statistical dead heat ***

    ***"LIPSTIC" -- game changer!!!****

  57. trish said...
    It was always going to be close, ash.

    Weeellll, especially true if you believe in MSM conspiracy theories. What the heck would they do if they couldn't portray it as close? Oh, ya, there is always OJ.

  58. Bob,

    A great article on LBJ and Holocaust Jews at the JPOST.

  59. Election night has become THE sleepless night in America. Interesting, that.

    In 2000 it was sleepless on account of a gout attack. Bobal will relate.

  60. Obama’s African Hubris

    Former Clinton aides currently working for Obama were the “mutual acquaintances” who directed Dick Morris to Kenya to advise the Odinga campaign in November of 2007, shortly after Odinga visited with Obama in America. Morris was an extremely divisive factor in the Kenyan elections, as a foreigner, a white man, and the creator of an antagonistic “have vs. have nots” campaign platform for Odinga’s ODM. He also suggested the current campaign of civil disobedience to protest the election result, including a “Million Person March”, a la Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

    When things got out of hand following the election, Obama called Odinga repeatedly, but Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the Government would not return his calls as he perceives Obama to be biased toward his Luo relative Odinga in the conflict. Obama is featured prominently in ODM campaign posters, slogans, and songs in Kenya, and the plaintive phrase “A Luo will become President in America before a Luo will become President in Kenya” is often heard.

  61. A friend in deed
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Lenny Ben-David

    A few weeks ago, the Associated Press reported that newly released tapes from US president Lyndon Johnson's White House office showed LBJ's "personal and often emotional connection to Israel." The news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969), "the United States became Israel's chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier."

    But the news report does little to reveal the full historical extent of Johnson's actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Most students of the Arab-Israeli conflict can identify Johnson as the president during the 1967 war. But few know about LBJ's actions to rescue hundreds of endangered Jews during the Holocaust - actions that could have thrown him out of Congress and into jail. Indeed, the title of "Righteous Gentile" is certainly appropriate in the case of the Texan, whose centennial year is being commemorated this year.

    Appropriately enough, the annual Jerusalem Conference announced this week that it will honor Johnson in February 2009.

    Historians have revealed that Johnson, while serving as a young congressman in 1938 and 1939, arranged for visas to be supplied to Jews in Warsaw, and oversaw the apparently illegal immigration of hundreds of Jews through the port of Galveston, Texas.

    A key resource for uncovering LBJ's pro-Jewish activity is the unpublished 1989 doctoral thesis by University of Texas student Louis Gomolak, "Prologue: LBJ's Foreign Affairs Background, 1908-1948." Johnson's activities were confirmed by other historians in interviews with his wife, family members and political associates.

    Research into Johnson's personal history indicates that he inherited his concern for the Jewish people from his family. His aunt Jessie Johnson Hatcher, a major influence on LBJ, was a member of the Zionist Organization of America. According to Gomolak, Aunt Jessie had nurtured LBJ's commitment to befriending Jews for 50 years. As a young boy, Lyndon watched his politically active grandfather "Big Sam" and father "Little Sam" seek clemency for Leo Frank, the Jewish victim of a blood libel in Atlanta. Frank was lynched by a mob in 1915, and the Ku Klux Klan in Texas threatened to kill the Johnsons. The Johnsons later told friends that Lyndon's family hid in their cellar while his father and uncles stood guard with shotguns on their porch in case of KKK attacks. Johnson's speechwriter later stated, "Johnson often cited Leo Frank's lynching as the source of his opposition to both anti-Semitism and isolationism."

    Already in 1934 - four years before Chamberlain's Munich sellout to Hitler - Johnson was keenly alert to the dangers of Nazism and presented a book of essays, Nazism: An Assault on Civilization, to the 21-year-old woman he was courting, Claudia Taylor - later known as "Lady Bird" Johnson. It was an incredible engagement present.

    FIVE DAYS after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the "Dixiecrats" and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland. In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States. With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the US Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit. Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his live.

    That same year, LBJ warned a Jewish friend, Jim Novy, that European Jews faced annihilation. "Get as many Jewish people as possible out [of Germany and Poland]," were Johnson's instructions. Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw.

    But that wasn't enough. According to historian James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle "hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico and other Latin American countries.... Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration... Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more."

    During World War II Johnson joined Novy at a small Austin gathering to sell $65,000 in war bonds. According to Gomolak, Novy and Johnson then raised a very "substantial sum for arms for Jewish underground fighters in Palestine." One source cited by the historian reports that "Novy and Johnson had been secretly shipping heavy crates labeled 'Texas Grapefruit' - but containing arms - to Jewish underground 'freedom fighters' in Palestine."

    ON JUNE 4, 1945, Johnson visited Dachau. According to Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that when her husband returned home, "he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized and bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen."

    A decade later while serving in the Senate, Johnson blocked the Eisenhower administration's attempts to apply sanctions against Israel following the 1956 Sinai Campaign. "The indefatigable Johnson had never ceased pressure on the administration," wrote I.L. "Si" Kenen, the head of AIPAC at the time.

    As Senate majority leader, Johnson consistently blocked the anti-Israel initiatives of his fellow Democrat, William Fulbright, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Among Johnson's closest advisers during this period were several strong pro-Israel advocates, including Benjamin Cohen (who 30 years earlier was the liaison between Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis and Chaim Weizmann) and Abe Fortas, the legendary Washington "insider."

    Johnson's concern for the Jewish people continued through his presidency. Soon after taking office in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, Johnson told an Israeli diplomat, "You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one."

    Just one month after succeeding Kennedy, LBJ attended the December 1963 dedication of the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Austin. Novy opened the ceremony by saying to Johnson, "We can't thank him enough for all those Jews he got out of Germany during the days of Hitler."

    Lady Bird would later describe the day, according to Gomolak: "Person after person plucked at my sleeve and said, 'I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. He helped me get out.'" Lady Bird elaborated, "Jews had been woven into the warp and woof of all [Lyndon's] years."

    THE PRELUDE to the 1967 war was a terrifying period for Israel, with the US State Department led by the historically unfriendly Dean Rusk urging an evenhanded policy despite Arab threats and acts of aggression. Johnson held no such illusions. After the war he placed the blame firmly on Egypt: "If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision [by Egypt] that the Strait of Tiran would be closed [to Israeli ships and Israeli-bound cargo]."

    Kennedy was the first president to approve the sale of defensive US weapons to Israel, specifically Hawk anti-aircraft missiles. But Johnson approved tanks and fighter jets, all vital after the 1967 war when France imposed a freeze on sales to Israel. Yehuda Avner recently described on these pages prime minister Levi Eshkol's successful appeal for these weapons on a visit to the LBJ ranch.

    Israel won the 1967 war, and Johnson worked to make sure it also won the peace. "I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel," Johnson said in a March 1968 conversation with his ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg, according to White House tapes recently released.

    Soon after the 1967 war, Soviet premier Aleksei Kosygin asked Johnson at the Glassboro Summit why the US supported Israel when there were 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis. "Because it is right," responded the straight-shooting Texan.

    The crafting of UN Resolution 242 in November 1967 was done under Johnson's scrutiny. The call for "secure and recognized boundaries" was critical. The American and British drafters of the resolution opposed Israel returning all the territories captured in the war. In September 1968, Johnson explained, "We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders. Some such lines must be agreed to by the neighbors involved."

    Goldberg later noted, "Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate." This historic diplomacy was conducted under Johnson's stewardship, as Goldberg related in oral history to the Johnson Library. "I must say for Johnson," Goldberg stated. "He gave me great personal support."

    Robert David Johnson, a professor of history at Brooklyn College, recently wrote in The New York Sun, "Johnson's policies stemmed more from personal concerns - his friendship with leading Zionists, his belief that America had a moral obligation to bolster Israeli security and his conception of Israel as a frontier land much like his home state of Texas. His personal concerns led him to intervene when he felt that the State or Defense departments had insufficiently appreciated Israel's diplomatic or military needs."

    President Johnson firmly pointed American policy in a pro-Israel direction. In a historical context, the American emergency airlift to Israel in 1973, the constant diplomatic support, the economic and military assistance and the strategic bonds between the two countries can all be credited to the seeds planted by LBJ.

    The writer served as deputy chief of mission of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Today, an international consultant, he blogs at

  62. There's nothing worse than gout, and a democratic victory, I can tell you that.

    Thankfully, the worst that will come this year is a democratic victory.

    T., if I poured cherry juice on politicians, would they go away?

  63. If it bleeds, it leads. This applies to political coverage as well, ash.

    Whit has tried to dispense a little (short term) wisdom, as has sinless (longer term).

    Fortune turns on a dime. I think Victor Hugo said that. Or maybe it was Napoleon.

  64. Ash wrote:

    "We've got an election going here in Canada for the top dog"

    Lest I mislead anyone that isn't quite true. We don't elect "top dog's" per se. Parliamentary system - you vote for your local representative and the party with the most representatives get to control the government and their leader, the "top dog", is the Prime Minister.

  65. Ash, I might concede--might--after fierce argument, that Canada has a more polite political system than we do.

    Asking true, is there the corruption up there as down here?
    I heard last night that the Austrian in California, called in to fix the mess left by the disgraced Grey Davis, has spent more money than he did. Things out of control everywhere.


    I also heard today what I think is a reliable figure--last year over 600 workmen died in the oil and gas fields, to keep us warm and cozy, and the car fueled up.

    If this was in the nuclear industry, which hasn't had one death we'd be hearing about it. Why aren't we hearing about it?
    Cause we are addicted to our cars.
    Don't know what the figure was in the coal industry, it's gotten safer.

  66. ...sort sentance parliamentary democracy...

  67. Didn't Victor Hugo say, "My kingdom, my kingdom for a horse!"? Or was that Rat?

    Doug said, "Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!"

  68. I wish corruption didn't exist up here. It is everywhere to some degree. In Canada I don't believe we have as close a relationship between business and government, we don't have the blatant 'revolving door' between government and the private sector but certainly there is ... unseemingly (and corrupt) linkages. A recent Prime Minister (Brian Mulroney) still is dogged by allegations, with teeth, of lining his pockets by promoting private business interests (he has admitted to taking cash payments, undeclared for tax purpose, 'til much later)

    Here is that Ibbitson article I referred to contrasting some of our political systems:


    From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

    E-mail John Ibbitson | Read Bio | Latest Columns
    September 10, 2008 at 12:47 AM EDT

    By coincidence, both Canada and the United States are in general elections. The events of the past year have shown why the American system is better.

    Many Canadians consider U.S. elections perverse. They find the primary system of electing party nominees confusing and unbalanced, and suspect money and insider influence are the determinants of success. These assumptions are false. Canada, not the United States, chooses its leaders from a small, secretive elite.

    During the primaries, Iowa and New Hampshire serve as vetting committees, assessing the qualities of the candidates and reporting those findings to the rest of the population. In every city, town and village across the two states, candidates arrive at the community centre or school auditorium, make their pitch, and take questions until everyone has received an answer.

    Slick marketing, well-financed ad campaigns and influence within the party and congressional leadership can't protect candidates from the scrutiny of voters in these bear pits. This is why the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries are so important.

    Once the remaining primaries get under way, the entire electorate can participate in choosing the party leaders. In many states, voters registered with one party can vote in the other's primary if they wish.

    Barack Obama was able to exploit a groundswell of popular support to best Hillary Clinton, despite her headlock on the party and congressional leadership. John McCain rescued a foundering campaign by retreating to New Hampshire, without money or a national campaign organization, and rebuilding from there.

    So, in this election, both candidates were, at one time or another, underdogs. That's not unusual. So were Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Ronald Reagan won in 1980 only because of his insurgency campaign against Gerald Ford in 1976.

    None of these candidates would have had much chance of leading a Canadian political party, where a handful of loyalists and leaders exercise a strict gatekeeper function.

    In Canada, a political aspirant will typically curry favour with a local riding association and get elected, then seek to broaden his base of support.

    Those who aspire to lead the party must appeal both to its leadership, or at least one faction of it, and to its card-carrying membership. Less than 2 per cent of Canadians belong to a party, so even the Liberals and Conservatives choose their leaders from a pool of voters representing less than 1 per cent of the population.

    No one can win an election in either country without money, whether publicly or privately provided. But those who have tried to buy a presidential nomination by self-financing their campaigns have thrown worse money after bad. Just ask Mitt Romney and Steve Forbes.

    Mr. Obama, on the other hand, developed the most impressive fundraising system in campaign history, by combining traditional big-dollar donations with a broader-based Internet campaign that has generated a base of more than two million donors.

    In sum, the American system makes it possible for outsiders, underdogs and mavericks to sometimes capture a party's nomination by igniting grassroots wildfires of voter and donor support that overwhelm the initial preferences of the party's leadership. Canadian aspirants must confine their pitch to the backroom boys and a tiny band of party members. So which is more democratic?

    Of course, there are lots of things wrong with America's electoral rules. To name just two: Politicians, not neutral arbiters, establish congressional district boundaries, which often leads to gerrymandering. The elections in many House districts are, quite frankly, rigged. One reason the Senate is more powerful than the House is that senators are considered more credibly elected, since they have to appeal to all the voters of their state.

    And because the states oversee elections, including federal ones, Americans are subjected to a plethora of voting methods that can lead to confusion and abuse.

    America is a rowdy, messy mass of contradictions, and its elections are no different. But it's an open society, where anyone can be president.

    Anyone can be prime minister, too. All you need is the support of the party bosses and the grassroots of a very small pasture. America, one suspects, is too democratic for Canadian tastes - or at least for the tastes of its ruling political, intellectual and cultural elites.

    That's another reason why American elections are so much more fun."

  69. OJ is on trial in Vegas, for robbery, though you wouldn't know it. Jury selection time. Big argument about what color how many of the jurors are. One juror, or perspective juror said, "I think he's guilty of murder."

    In this color blind society.

    As time goes on, Doug will start arguing with me about this trial, I'd wager.

  70. to help you understand Ibbitson POV - he seems to be tasked with 'interpreting' the US elections by the Globe and Mail for us Canadians. He's been writing almost daily since early in primary season on the US election.

  71. Reverend Wright Is Reverend Wrong! »

    The New York Post learned today that Reverend Wright is actually Reverend Wrong. Apparently our “pious” Reverend Wright — who was the pastor and confidante of Barack Obama for 20+ years, baptized both of his daughters, married him and Michelle, and “blessed” their mansion — has been carrying on with a younger woman in Texas. Here’s more from the Post:

    "He almost wrecked Barack Obama’s presidential dreams, and now firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright has helped destroy a Dallas church worker’s marriage - and her job, The Post has learned."

    Payne's husband, Fred Payne, 64, said he learned of the affair in late February, when he discovered e-mails between his wife and Wright.
    "There must have been about 80 of them, back and forth," he said. "Wright said things like he was going to leave his wife for Elizabeth."

    Wright has been married to his second wife, Ramah, for more than 20 years.
    The preacher reportedly wooed Ramah away from her first husband in the 1980s, when the couple came to marriage counseling at Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

  72. Mat and al-Blob mimic benj w/oversized posts.

  73. Alas, power corrupts the unenlightened.

    The Carthusian Monastic Order, in the early middle ages, however, was "never reformed, because never deformed", and the reason was, the rule was for one year only, then your ass is to the back bench, and somebody else takes over for a twelve month.

    Seems to have worked.

  74. Didn't Victor Hugo say, "My kingdom, my kingdom for a horse!"?


    That was VDH

  75. Thanks, Mat, I didn't know any of that early stuff, nor how deep LBJ's feelings ran.

    It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace.

    Not then, and not now, I'd wager.

  76. Doug's easy to get rilled up :)

  77. Rest assured, ash, the losers - by the tens of millions across the land - will be playing Pink's, "So What? I'm Still a Rock Star." And its many, more timeless variations.

  78. Mat -

    great post on LBJ....

    America was & IS Amazing

  79. Doug, do you think Obama is intentionally flipping off, in the video? I do.

  80. Obama, on Letterman: Keep in mind that, technically had I meant it this way –- she would be the lipstick!

    Here's a shovel, dude, keep digging.

  81. I think both Obama AND OJ are innocent, Blob!

  82. America was & IS Amazing

    Friedman talks Texan:

    ET, the next IT

    If all you'll ever do is all you ever done,
    all you'll ever get is all you ever got.