Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jackie and Michelle: The White House Wardrobes

Comparisons between Michelle Obama and Jacqueline Kennedy are inevitable: two elegant women, catapulted into the national spotlight by their charismatic, ambitious husbands. Which is fashion’s true First Lady? Decide for yourself, and vote in the Vanity Fair poll.
WEB EXCLUSIVE May 20, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paramour of Kennedy Is Writing a Book

Published: May 22, 2009

Mimi Beardsley Alford, a retired New York church administrator who had an affair with John F. Kennedy while she was an intern in the White House, is breaking a silence of more than 40 years to tell her story in a memoir to be published by Random House.

Ms. Alford’s secret was initially divulged six years ago when a biography of Kennedy was published with portions from a 1964 oral history that described the president’s 18-month sexual affair with a young intern named Mimi Beardsley. The Daily News tracked her down and discovered that she was Marion Fahnestock, who was divorced, working for the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and living in Manhattan. At the time, she gave a short statement confirming that she was “involved in a sexual relationship” with Kennedy from June 1962 to November 1963.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Richard Helms Testifies at The Church Committee Hearings - 1975

From Crooks and Liars

(Richard Helms - What Didn't He Know and When Didn't He Know It

Ever since the latest fiasco regarding the CIA surfaced, I kept thinking how adept the CIA has always been, historically in telling half-truths, no truths and "who me?" prevarications.

Beginning in 1975, a series of hearings took place in an attempt to investigate certain "illegal goings on" within the CIA, It ran the full gamut from wiretapping, domestic espionage, assassinations and mail tampering. Heading up the Senate Select Committee was Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), and the hearings were dubbed The Church Committee. The hearings lasted several months and fortunately most all of them were recorded and broadcast by NPR, back when NPR actually stood for something in the way of integrity and solid reporting.

This particular clip, from the afternoon session of October 22, 1975, features former CIA Director Richard Helms (who would later serve as Ambassador to Iran) being questioned by Senator Church over his role in the matter of illegal mail tampering - a practice that had gone on since the days Allen Dulles ran the CIA in 1953.

Since there are numerous hours of testimony to sift through from many witnesses, I will try and offer as much as I can in small doses over the next few weeks. Bear with me - it'll be worth it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sheila Bair, Brooksley Born: JFK Award Recipients For Predicting Crisis

BOSTON — Two U.S. federal regulators who sounded early warnings on the financial crisis and a Liberian peace activist will receive the 2009 the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

The awards will be presented Monday by Caroline Kennedy at a ceremony at Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Among those to receive honors is Sheila Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., who was one of the first to warn about the subprime lending crisis.

Brooksley Born, former chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will be honored for warning a decade ago about unregulated financial contracts.

Leymah Gbowee (LAY'-mah BOH'-wee) also will receive an award for organizing a multifaith group of woman to help end Liberia's civil war.

In Defense of the Speaker of the House

William E. Jackson Jr.
Posted: May 16, 2009 12:35 AM

As of May 16, several national newspaper and television headlines were adopting an accusatory tone critical of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that undoubtedly tickled the actual authorizers (Vice President Cheney et al) and the actual practitioners (Central Intelligence Agency) of torture during the previous administration, 2001-2009. For example: "CIA Director Panetta Rebuts Pelosi's Charges," Washington Post, May 16.

Having worked for a Senate leader on Capitol Hill, I can attest that--when leaders of Congress are notified of major covert operations--the briefings are often incomplete at best and are sometimes prone to gloss over what is really going on. A full briefing on relevant CIA activities is seldom guaranteed.

William E. Jackson Jr. wrote a column on the press and national security for "Editor & Publisher Online" from 2003 to 2007. He served in the Executive Office of the President under President John Kennedy in 1963. He taught government and politics at UNC-Charlotte, and Davidson College. From 1974-77, he was chief legislative assistant to the U.S. Senate majority whip; and was the executive director of President Carter's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, 1978-80. He has been a foreign policy scholar at the Brookings Institution, and the Fulbright Institute of International Relations. In addition, he produced and hosted the political talk show "Crosshairs" on Adelphia cable television, 2000-2003. Jackson resides, and writes, in Davidson, N.C.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Incredible aerial view of USS JFK

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meet The Press - J. William Fulbright - April 30, 1961

By Gordonskene at newstalgia.crooksandliars.com

With all the recent reflection on Presidential 100 days and crisis management, I was reminded just how much the Kennedy Administration had been handed in the area of Foreign policy and crisis management in their first 100 days.

Senator J. William Fulbright was Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, overseeing a host of hotspots, including the Congo, Berlin, Laos (in fact the whole Southeast Asia region) and Cuba. Ironically, five days before this Meet The Press was recorded, the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion took place - a bungled attempt at toppling the Castro regime on the part of the CIA causing a big black eye in our policy towards Latin America in general.

The deck was pretty stacked and there was no shortage of fires to put out. Fulbright was a big advocate of education and foreign assistance as a means of overcoming the increasing Communist influence in these regions. He was no advocate of armed conflict, particularly in SouthEast Asia, citing the French excursion and terrain as reasons to avoid it. His solution to funding the campaign of education and Foreign Aid was probably tainted by those two most lethal words in politics, "higher taxes".

This Meet The Press, from April 30, 1961 features Fulbright answering a battery of questions from Lawrence Spivak and Company.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Alabama U.S.A. - May 5-29, 1961 By Gordonskene

From "Crooks and Liars" website:

Hard to imagine that only 48 years ago today, a group of people, black and white, got on buses and rode South, attempting to bring an end to segregation in bus station waiting rooms and lunch counters. In 1961 it was illegal to mix races in social settings in the south - there were separate bathrooms, restaurants, hotels, waiting rooms, beaches. If you grew up during the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and were witness to the sweeping change that took place in the 1990's there, realize that pretty much the same atmosphere prevailed in the South in America in the 1960's. It was a horrific struggle in Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, but it was the turning point in race relations in America. When the first Freedom Riders went into Alabama, they were not greeted as liberators. Rather as agitators, communist inspired - part of some evil plot as the KKK, White Citizens Council, American Nazi Party and countless other hate groups would like to say. Buses were stoned and burned - Freedom Riders were pulled from buses and clubbed, beaten or tossed in jail on a myriad of trumped-up charges.

In response, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sent Federal Marshals to enforce Civil Rights laws, ensuring safety of the protesters. It drew national attention and continued a struggle that began in the 1950's when the Supreme Court ruled Segregation of Public Schools was illegal. Slowly things began to change, but it was certainly not overnight. 1961 began a new era in the Civil Rights movement and it would be met with waves of violence from hate groups, bent on preserving a society where racism was the norm, a society run on fear and hate, a society doomed to implode on its own ignorance.

A segment of our society which sadly, still exists today.

Follow the link above for the NBC News Special recapping the events in Alabama in May 1961 called "Alabama USA" as well as some local (Montgomery Alabama) news reports, all as it was happening.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lion and the Legacy

Senator Edward Kennedy’s diagnosis of brain cancer, in May 2008, touched off an extraordinary medical battle—and a veiled rivalry over who might succeed him as symbolic head of America’s fabled dynasty. Would it be R.F.K.’s oldest son, Joe? J.F.K.’s daughter, Caroline? Or the senator’s second wife, Victoria? An excerpt from the new book Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died reveals the family’s shifting dynamics, the confrontation that led Caroline to drop her political bid, and the triumphant, grueling winter of the last Kennedy brother.

by Edward Klein June 2009

Excerpted from Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died, by Edward Klein, to be published in May by Crown, a division of Random House; © 2009 by the author.


Incomplete Justice

Mary Ferrell Foundation Featured - "Incomplete Justice," a six-part RFK essay series by Larry Hancock, author of "Someone Would Have Talked"

An Interview with Cesar Chavez - May 17, 1968

From "Crooks and Liars" Blog

(Meeting with Robert F. Kennedy, 1968 - Chavez on day 25 of Hunger Strike)

We often think the situation with Migrant workers is something that's happen in the past few years. It's been going on for decades. One of the great voices in the labor movement and champion of migrant workers rights was Cesar Chavez. His endless campaign of organizing for better working conditions and a fair wage for long hours was a lifelong struggle for him, which was often met by overwhelming resistance. But in the end, progress had been made - not perfect, but a solid foundation. His is certainly a legacy that has lived on, long past his death in 1993.

Here is an interview, part of the Educational Television Networks nightly news program Newsfront, hosted by Mitchell Kraus on May 17, 1968. Chavez is joined by Junior Senator Harrison A.Williams (D-New Jersey) and Chairman of the Senate Sub-committee on Migratory Labor.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Acclaimed journalist Jim Lehrer to speak at East Central University Commencement

Jim Lehrer
Though it was particularly difficult for him to name the most profound moment in his career, he highlighted the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as one of these moments.

“I was a reporter for a afternoon newspaper in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. As a reporter I learned once and for all, in an incredibly dramatic way, what one event can do and how one event can lead to so many different changes. The death of John F. Kennedy sent off a chain of events that changed our country and changed many things about it,” he said.