“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."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


  • In case you missed the memo, you are not president
  • If you were president, something would be classified until you said it wasn't
  • Which gets back to my original point, you are not,  nor will you ever be president
  • Trump is - Get used to it
  • As President and Commander in Chief, Trump can decide what and when and with who
  • Not You
Retrospective 1998:

Three New Revelations About LBJ

The author of an about-to-be-published biography of Lyndon Johnson shares some of what he has learned

URINATING in a sink, inviting people into his bathroom, showing off his abdominal scar, exposing his private parts: after a while nothing surprises a biographer of Lyndon Baines Johnson. After fourteen years of research for a two-volume biography, of which the second volume, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, I have, however, found some new evidence, in three areas, that even by Johnson standards is surprising. 

First, I discovered that even as he decided to escalate the war, Johnson had deeper and more clairvoyant doubts about Vietnam than contemporaries could possibly have imagined. He believed his own rhetoric about the need to fight in Vietnam. At the same time, however, he could see the makings of the quagmire ahead.

When, in May of 1964, Senator Richard Russell told Johnson that Vietnam was "the damn worst mess I ever saw," LBJ replied, "That's the way I've been feelin' for six months." Shortly after, he told McGeorge Bundy, his national-security adviser, "The more I stayed awake last night thinking of this thing, the more ... it looks to me like we're gettin' into another Korea.... I don't think it's worth fightin' for and I don't think we can get out. It's just the biggest damned mess.... What the hell is Vietnam worth to me? ... What is it worth to this country?"

After increasing U.S. combat troops in Vietnam in July of 1965, Johnson expressed doubts that he had done the right thing. "Light at the end of the tunnel?" he told his press secretary, Bill Moyers. "We don't even have a tunnel; we don't even know where the tunnel is." 

Lady Bird Johnson remembers the President's pain over the war. "He had no stomach for it," she told me, "no heart for it; it wasn't the war he wanted. The one he wanted was on poverty and ignorance and disease, and that was worth putting your life into." She added, "It was just a hell of a thorn stuck in his throat. It wouldn't come up; it wouldn't go down.... It was just pure hell and did not have that reassuring, strong feeling that this is right, that he had when he was in a crunch with civil rights or poverty or education. It didn't have that 'We'll make it through this one; win or lose, it's the right thing to do.' So, uncertainty ... we had a rich dose of that.... True, you can 'bear any burden, pay any price' if you're sure you're doin' right. But if you do not know what is right ..." Her voice trailed off. The opposition provoked in the United States by the expanding war spoke to Johnson's hesitation and forebodings, but criticism made him more rather than less reluctant to consult his own doubts.

Johnson had "an unfillable hole in his ego," Moyers says. Feelings of emptiness spurred him to eat, drink, and smoke to excess. Sexual conquests also helped to fill the void. He was a competitive womanizer. When people mentioned Kennedy's many affairs, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose.

Acknowledging the failure of a policy that by 1969 had cost 30,000 American lives was more than someone with so fragile an ego could manage.

Second, escalation of the war against his own misgivings made Johnson irrational almost to the point of disability. He told Richard Goodwin, a White House aide, that opponents of the war were close to being traitors. He told his staff that "the communists already control the three major networks and the forty major outlets of communication." He complained to Moyers that "the communist way of thinking" had infected everyone around him.

Moyers described Johnson to me as "paranoid" and "depressed," and never more so than in 1965. Moyers attributes this dark passage to "the realization about which he was clearer than anyone -- that [Vietnam] was a road from which there was no turning back." Johnson saw the decision to send troops as potentially marking the end of his presidency. "It was a pronounced, prolonged depression," Moyers adds. "He would just go within himself, just disappear -- morose, self-pitying, angry.... He was a tormented man," who described himself to Moyers as being in a Louisiana swamp that was "pulling me down." "When he said it," Moyers remembers, "he was lying in bed with the covers almost above his head." 
I asked Moyers if others in the White House were as troubled by Johnson's behavior as he and Goodwin. Yes, Moyers replied, and "when they were deeply concerned about his behavior, they would call me -- Cabinet officers and others. Rusk would call me and tell me about some exchange he just had with the President that was very disturbing, and he would say that he seemed to be very depressed."

I asked Moyers if Johnson was so continually depressed as to be incapable of rational judgments on Vietnam. No, he answered. Johnson was erratic. One day he would be down and the next he would be upbeat. "But always when he returned to the subject of Vietnam, this cloud in his eyes and this predictably unpredictable behavior" would recur.

Third, Johnson's role in the 1968 presidential campaign was more central to its outcome than previously known, or even suspected. In August, after Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated and Hubert Humphrey, the likely Democratic nominee, hinted that he would make a quick end to the war, Johnson tried to come back into the presidential race and arrange a draft for himself at the Chicago convention. He asked John Connally to discuss his nomination with southern governors. A negative response from the governors, combined with the riot at the convention between anti-war demonstrators and Mayor Richard J. Daley's police force, ended such thoughts. Resigned to Humphrey's candidacy, Johnson pressed his Vice President throughout the campaign not to stray too far from the Administration's position on Vietnam.

Humphrey largely complied. But at the end of September, when he showed greater flexibility than the White House on how to end the war, Johnson reacted angrily. He told Clark Clifford that he doubted Humphrey's ability to be President. He lacked the guts for the job. After Humphrey had become Vice President and expressed doubts about the war, the White House, according to a Humphrey aide, Ted Van Dyk, had arranged for wiretaps on Humphrey's office phones. Van Dyk learned this from two Secret Service agents on the vice-presidential detail. Neither Van Dyk nor Humphrey was surprised. Though Johnson in principle disliked taping and wiretaps, he secretly taped more than 7,500 of his own telephone conversations as President. Moreover, during the 1964 campaign, after a visit to the White House, Richard Russell wrote, "Hoover has apparently been turned loose and is tapping everything.... [Johnson] stated it took him hours each night to read them all (but he loves this)." The speed with which Johnson had information about Humphrey's presidential campaign suggested to Van Dyk that the White House was still tapping Humphrey's phones in 1968. Johnson apparently wanted the taps to gain advance notice and a chance to dissuade him should Humphrey decide to break away on the war. 

With Richard Nixon sending word to Johnson, through Billy Graham, that as President he would give Johnson "a major share of credit" for a settlement in Vietnam and would "do everything to make you ... a place in history," Johnson secretly favored Nixon in the campaign. "You know that Nixon is following my policies more closely than Humphrey," LBJ told his longtime friend Jim Rowe, a prominent Washington attorney, in October. When Humphrey persuaded Johnson to have a fence-mending talk at the White House and then showed up late from a campaign rally, Johnson refused to see him. Humphrey was furious. He told Van Dyk, "That bastard Johnson.... I saw him sitting in his office. Jim Jones [a member of the White House staff] was standing across the doorway, and I said to him: 'You tell the President he can cram it up his ass.' I know Johnson heard me."

At this charged moment in the campaign Elias P. Demetracopoulos, a Greek journalist who had fled Athens in 1967 after the colonels' coup, provided the President with a chance to damage, if not sink, Nixon's campaign. 

Demetracopoulos had learned that Greece's military dictators had funneled more than half a million dollars into the Nixon-Agnew campaign. He gave this information to Larry O'Brien, Humphrey's campaign manager. Demetracopoulos urged O'Brien to put this potentially incendiary news before Johnson; CIA Director Richard Helms, Demetracopoulos said, could confirm its accuracy. O'Brien took the story to the President, but Johnson, according to what O'Brien told Demetracopoulos, refused to act on it. He would neither ask Helms to investigate the report nor leak it to the press should it prove to be true. Johnson wanted something to use against Nixon if the Nixon Justice Department started to comb the Johnson Administration for scandal, and Nixon's Greek connection would serve that purpose handsomely.

Only in the final days of the campaign -- when Nixon destroyed Johnson's last chance of reaching a peace settlement as President by secretly persuading the Saigon government not to participate in peace talks and thus not to allow an October surprise that could give Humphrey the election -- did Johnson try to help Humphrey. 

Johnson left it to Humphrey to decide whether to leak Nixon's "treason" on Vietnam. In what the journalist Theodore White called an uncommon act of political decency, Humphrey chose not to make Nixon's sabotaging of peace a last-minute issue in the campaign. Humphrey feared that should Nixon win anyway, accusations against him could provoke a constitutional crisis. Besides, Humphrey and Johnson would need to explain how they had learned of Nixon's actions. They didn't want to reveal the wiretaps and bugs that had brought them the information about Nixon's undermining of the peace talks.

If LBJ had run again in 1968, can there be any doubt that, unlike Humphrey, he would have used Nixon's skulduggery against him in the closing days of the campaign? How different our national perspective would be had Johnson, rather than Nixon, served from 1969 to 1973. 

Robert Dallek is a professor of history at Boston University. His article in this issue is based on research for his book to be published this month by Oxford University Press. 

Illustration by Andrea Ventura 
The Atlantic Monthly; April 1998; Three New Revelations About LBJ; Volume 281, No. 4; pages 42 - 44.


  1. Kimberly Guilfoyle is being interviewed to replace Spicer.

    At least she will be better to look at, but will probably bomb as Press Secretary.

    But no one will care as she is pretty to look at....

    Exclusive: Kimberly Guilfoyle says she’s talking with Trump administration about press secretary job

    The Fox News host and former First Lady of San Francisco tells the Bay Area News Group: ‘I’m a patriot, and it would be an honor to serve the country.’

    By CASEY TOLAN | | Bay Area News Group
    PUBLISHED: May 16, 2017 at 8:00 am | UPDATED: May 16, 2017 at 11:26 am

    NEW YORK — Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former first lady of San Francisco and current Fox News host, is in conversations with the Trump administration about becoming White House press secretary, she said in an exclusive interview with the Bay Area News Group on Monday night.

    Guilfoyle said the idea of her taking the job or another press role in the White House has been “raised by a number of people” in the Trump administration, although she declined to go into specifics. She noted that she’s regularly in touch with members of the administration in the course of her job.

    “I’m a patriot, and it would be an honor to serve the country,” Guilfoyle said. “I think it’d be a fascinating job. It’s a challenging job, and you need someone really determined and focused, a great communicator in there with deep knowledge to be able to handle that position.”

    The 48-year-old Guilfoyle is a former San Francisco and Los Angeles prosecutor who was married for four years to former San Francisco mayor and current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. The two separated in 2005 when she moved to New York to start a career in television. She’s now one of the co-hosts of the Fox News show “The Five.”

    She was originally considered for press secretary during the presidential transition, but the job went to Sean Spicer, the former spokesman for the Republican National Committee....

    She is actually nothing but a social climber of the first order, and has no true talent at anything that anyone can discern.

  2. Schumer is a swamp turd of the first order.

    And his patented glasses on the nose craparoo is disgusting.

    1. Bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback.

      You are disgusting, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      Always libeling your betters.


  3. A gunfight between criminal gangs in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero left eight people dead on Thursday, but when security forces tried yesterday to enter the town of La Gavia to assess the situation they were violently repelled by residents.

    In the end, the deployment of over 400 soldiers and police succeeded in taking control of the municipality of San Miguel Totolapan, a longtime base for the Tequileros criminal gang.

    But in the process 16 public and privately-owned vehicles were incinerated, 14 highway blockades were mounted in nine municipalities and federal and state forces had to repel armed aggression.

  4. he abandon his daughter he confess to war crimes he ruin threads ratass should banned by deuce from here

    1. Mark:

      You should take an English Class.

    2. i new legal to USA i trying am taking english class

      ratsass shoot my people he going to hell back where come from he on one way street

      my name marco now mark USA name

      ratass abandon daughter no good one do that

    3. Welcome to Murica, Mark!

      Do you have your Quik Start Pamphlets from the Islamic and Mexican Governments?

  5. "Johnson had "an unfillable hole in his ego," Moyers says. Feelings of emptiness spurred him to eat, drink, and smoke to excess. Sexual conquests also helped to fill the void. He was a competitive womanizer. When people mentioned Kennedy's many affairs, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose."


    I had more than both of them combined, but do you think you'll ever hear about it in the MSM?

  6. CNN OBSESSED: 92% of airtime on POTUS; 96 critics vs 7 supporters!

    After excluding commercials, teases and promos, our analysts found 13 hours, 27 minutes of actual news coverage, an average of just over 40 minutes per hour. Of that, a whopping 92 percent (12 hours, 19 minutes) was devoted to the Trump presidency, with a mere 68 minutes — a little more than three minutes per hour — devoted to all of the other news of the day.

    According to Quirk, had this been the case at his workplace wrt him, it would have been of no consequence to him, and no outcomes would have been different in his personal or professional life.

  7. .

    Last Thursday, I gave a lecture on the jihad threat at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland. Shortly thereafter, a young Icelandic Leftist registered his disapproval of what I said by poisoning me...

    What had happened quickly became clear, and was soon confirmed by a hospital test: one of these local Icelanders who had approached me (probably the one who said he was a big fan, as he was much closer to me than the "[F---] you" guy) had dropped drugs into my drink. I wasn't and am not on any other medication, and so there wasn't any other explanation of how these things had gotten into my bloodstream

    The exact same thing happened to me. I was poisoned by a young leftist at a Cinco de Mayo party who was no doubt excised by my perceived cultural appropriation.

    I had just finished my fifth margarita while downing a huge amount of taco chips with extra hot salsa, when he delivered me my order of pork and pepper fajitas with extra peppers and gave me a telling look as I slurred, "Mucho gracias, amigo."

    A short time later after finishing the fajitas and another margarita with a side shot of tequila, I was in the Caballeros room puking my guts out from whatever it was he gave me. There is no other explanation.


    1. What had happened quickly became clear, and was soon confirmed by a hospital test

      Let's see your hospital tests, mocker.

    2. Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland

      That is funny. It has to be foreign money. Any Icelander would laugh at the concept. My favorite building in Reykjavik was a fish and chip shop on the wharf that burned down.

    3. .

      Let's see your hospital tests, mocker.

      Let's see his.


  8. .

    House Denies Report President Trump Asked James Comey to End Michael Flynn Investigation

    The White House is denying a New York Times report that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey - who he fired last week - to shut down the investigation into the administration's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

    The Times cites a memo that Comey wrote after his meeting with the president a day after Flynn resigned following revelations that, contrary to his initial statements, he had discussed Russian sanctions with the country's Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on a phone call in December of 2016.
    "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump told Comey per the memo, according to the Times. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."

    But a White House official denied the report. "While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn. The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey," the official told TIME.

    The official emphasized acting F.B.I. director Andrew McCabe's testimony last week, where he said "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date."


    1. You're wasting your time, Quirk, reading the NY Times.

      It just confuses you.

      Same with The Compost.

    2. Here, Quirk:

      The Washington Post Keeps Getting Its Stories Wrong

      Mollie Hemingway

      Make sure you check out the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook contained therein.

      I'm hoping this might help keep you from going off your handles so often.

  9. .

    O'Reilly has a new gig working for Glenn Beck.


    1. O'Reilly got shoved out, but it's odd, the only thing I read he was alleged to have done was call some good looking black gal 'hot chocolate'.

      There was a hell of a lot of smoke, but never much fire actually identified, and, as far as I know, he was never actually charged with anything.

      Civil suits, sure, but in today's world it's an industry.

      I can't see that he is ever alleged to have even touched anyone.

      But if you're pleased he's gone then I'm tickled just plumb to death, too.

      I'd rather see you glad than grumpy.

      You're a pain in the ass when you're grumpy.

  10. I think Comey ends up running for office as a Democrat in the future.

  11. Mother Nature may have finally had it with Europe -

    UPDATE: Italy supervolcano at 'critical stage'...DRUDGE

    And who could, really, blame her ?

  12. Update: Montana Special House Election

    Source: local rag

    Quist is raising lots - tons - of local money in small amounts. He may have more bucks on hand than The Interloper, who has just put a $million of his own into his campaign, plus he's getting lots of out of state money.

    No current polls were mentioned, but the fact that The Interloper feels compelled to go to his own wallet should not be reassuring to his backers.

    An upset in the making ?

    M a y b e j u s t m a y b e

  13. REPORT: Scalia Believed Supreme Court Was Being Surveilled by Obama....DRUDGE

    1. You won't find this in the headlines of the NYTimes or The Compost.

    2. I'll wait for Quirk for the final word.

      As always.

  14. Watch woman walk in middle of busy freeway while chatting on her phone

    1. Not exactly Beautiful Downtown Truckee at Midnight, which sound be the title of some opera song, or something.

    2. Slushing now, 'sposed to snow tonite.

    3. Maybe some of the yoots of Truckee still know the ancient sport of hooky bobbing:

      It was the thing for the cool kids to do when I was a yoot.

  15. May 16, 2017
    The Media-Democratic Party Suicide Pact
    By Patricia McCarthy

    The national media and the Democratic Party have gone stark raving mad over President Trump's election victory; they refuse to accept it. Their paroxysms of fury are evident all day long on every network and cable news outlet and every mainstream newspaper. Since Nov. 8, they have leapt like a swarm of remoras onto a whale proclaiming every little thing that they think might take the man down. Hillary's team concocted the "Russia collusion" hoax within twenty-four hours of her defeat. Everyone knows this! Hillary is the one with all the Russia connections; lots of them, all financially benefitting her personal foundation. They, the media, have come up with numerous other schemes with which to attack Trump: taxes, emoluments, tweets, family, even his ice cream servings.

    The Democrats in Congress dutifully follow suit like Pavlov's dogs. They care not a whit whether their charges are based in fact. Hence, "fake news." The mainstream media folk invented it, this "resistance," and they are running with it, day after day after day. They devised the game plan, and they are sanctimonious in their defense of it. Like the Russia meme they keep peddling, they go at it from every angle in the pitiable belief that they can convince the American people that they elected the wrong person.

    Yet the more they double- and triple-down on their strategy and tactics, the more the American people realize how thoroughly demented are the media and their Democrat lapdogs. The more they contrive new tales of misconduct, chaos and/or incompetence, the more the rest of us realize how threatened they are by his successes: unemployment is down, illegal border crossings are down, the stock market is just fine, and the rescue of our medical care has begun. The more the media and the Democrats are driven mad by his policies -- the reining in of the EPA, reviewing Obama's federal land grabs, enforcing immigration laws that Obama did not, taking hard lines on Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, ISIS, the more we anti-establishment folks out here in flyover country cheer his every move.

    1. Does Trump stumble here and there? Of course. Who does not? Clearly, he is not an experienced politco. He's a no-nonsense businessman with a style completely at odds with the DC establishment swamp. And a swamp it is. One only has to listen to Pelosi, Schumer, Durbin, Mark Warner, Adam Schiff, and the rest, to their ridiculous pretentions and imputations, to grasp the nature of the depth to which these media leftists and Democrat toadies are willing to descend to oppose President Trump. They are making complete and utter fools of themselves. Look no further than the execrable Maxine Waters; it would have been fine if Hillary fired Comey but it's a crime that Trump did! Hypocrisy is their stock in trade. The left is not the brain trust they think they are. They are the victims of their own calculated undermining of American education. Millions of Americans miseducated in our universities sill have essential common sense. The media and the Democrats have become as historically bereft of common sense as the graduates our universities churn out every June.

      With their paid, activist-trained protesters at virtually all Republican townhalls, the violence these resistance PACs foment on our university campuses, their Soros-funded protest marches, their almost venal pro-abortion litmus test, their blatant hypocrisy re: the firing of Comey, the media and the Democrats may think they are winning over all those ignorant Trump supporters. But they are not. They are demonstrating for all to see just how elitist they are, how dismissive they are of those of us who voted for him, and how disparaging they are of the US Constitution. They are confirming that they value illegal immigrants over citizens, Muslims over Christians, criminals over law-abiding persons. They support calculated gender confusion, speech codes, the tyranny of political correctness, and the construction of victim groups. All humans, with the exception of heterosexual white males, are victims of oppression of one kind or another. The left revels in pitting people against each other.

      Our media and our Democrats seem to think that with all their hateful, childish behavior, their tantrums ("we won't vote for an FBI director unless there is a special prosecutor"), they can win back the House and Senate in 2018. They seem not to realize that they are going to lose more seats in both houses. Their strategy, these vile tactics, are a suicide pact. And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party die by their own hands, only the mind-numbed elites on both coasts and the denizens of the editorial offices of the NYT, the WaPo and the LA Times will be surprised. No one else will care. They will have seen it all coming for years.

    2. .

      Does Trump stumble here and there? Of course.


      Ya think


    3. Who does not ?

      You forgot that part of the quote so I added it for you.

  16. I know you must have played hooky from school a lot as a kid, Quirk, but did you ever hooky bob ?

  17. When you're broke, turn to Uncle Sam.

    New Push for Statehood Amid Puerto Rico Fiscal Ruins....DRUDGE


      I talked to a young Puerto Rican woman not so long ago, and she didn't know what they should do.

      She had made her choice though. She had moved to the mainland USA.

  18. Fox News: "Push for Convention of the States to rein in government gains steam"
    Posted by Convention of States Project on May 16, 2017

    When Democrats launched into a spontaneous chorus of "Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye" on the House floor after the passage of the American Health Care Act last month, it may have marked a modern-day low mark in open hostility on the House floor.

    It and numerous other cultural barometers – from cable news contributors losing their cool, to contentious town halls, to street fights – are signaling tectonic rumblings in America's political health.

    In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton settled their bitter political feud with a pistol duel that took Hamilton’s life, but Article Five of the Constitution offers a more civilized resolution – a Convention of the States.

    It is an option not exercised since before the signing of the Constitution. But it's gaining new strength and new adherents....

  19. Vasectomy Blowout:

    Former NFL player Antonio Cromartie expecting his 14th child, wife says

    It’s baby season, ya’ll! And nothing can stop it — apparently, not even a vasectomy.

    The wife of former NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie has announced the birth of the player’s fourteenth child. In an adorable draft-themed Instagram post on Monday, Terricka Cromartie showed off her beautiful baby bump painted with both a blue and pink handprint. It will be the couple’s sixth child together.

    The announcement comes not months — but years — after Cromartie had his man tubes snipped, snipped to stop his little guys. He got the procedure after his wife gave birth to twins in 2016, but now Terricka Cromartie is reportedly 25 weeks pregnant, according to TMZ.

    1. Antonio Cromartie's 109.88 yd. Missed FG Return