Monday, August 31, 2009

From Crooks and Liars: Bob Herbert on the Kennedys: Follow The Fellow Who Follows A Dream By Susie Madrak

On the day I was born, said my father, said he
"I've an an elegant legacy waitin' for ye.

'Tis a rhyme for your lips and a song for your heart

To sing it whenever the world falls apart.


Look, look, look to the rainbow

Follow it over the hill and the stream
Look, look, look to the rainbow

Follow the fellow who follows a dream.

For those of you who are younger, who may not quite get exactly what the Kennedys meant to us, this lovely piece from Bob Herbert explains it well - they made us feel better than we were, and made us want to be better people. He suggests that their theme song, rather than "Camelot," should instead be "Follow the Rainbow" from "Finian's Rainbow":

The Kennedy message was always to aim higher, and they always — or almost always — appealed to our best instincts. So there was Bobby speaking to a group of women at a breakfast in Terre Haute, Ind., during the 1968 campaign. As David Halberstam recalled, Bobby told the audience: “The poor are hidden in our society. No one sees them anymore. They are a small minority in a rich country. Yet I am stunned by a lack of awareness of the rest of us toward them.” (follow the title link to read more)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Secret Government

By Christopher Hayes
August 26, 2009
This article appeared in the September 14, 2009 edition of The Nation.

The original Church Committee ushered in an era of reforms that we've come to take for granted: the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts and executive orders banning assassinations. But it's hard to survey the legal and moral wreckage of the "war on terror" and conclude that those reforms have stood the test of time. When the country faced another "implacable" enemy, the reforms of the Church Committee were subverted, circumvented, rolled back and outpaced.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Opening Of The 87th Congress - 1962

(John McCormack - rumored to have thrown up and fainted when told he might be President in 1963)

The opening of the 2nd session of the 87th Congress - January 10, 1962. A pretty busy year. Former speaker of the House Sam Rayburn had suddennly died, leaving the seat open. John McCormack was voted to succeed him. McCormack had the dubious distinction of informing the House on November 22, 1963 that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. When told there was a rumor Vice-president Lyndon Johnson may also have been assassinated - the thought he may be next in line as President was a bit too much.

By Gordonskene Thursday Aug 27, 2009 3:33pm

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy dead"

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died Wednesday at his home in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77. "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said.

God rest his soul.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Alliance For Progress - Punta del Este Conference - August 1961

C. Douglas Dillon

Latin America from Newstalgia
With the recent news of Sec. of State Clinton's defense pact with Colombia, I was thinking about how our foreign policy has been something of a hit-and-miss situation with regards to Latin America in recent years.

Here is a Press conference from August 22, 1961 featuring Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon, giving an outline of the events at the Punta del Este Conference in Uruguay.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

BAMELOT? See How The Obamas Resemble The Kennedys (PHOTOS)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Passed Away

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of John, mother of Maria Shriver and the founder of the Special Olympics, passed away early this morning at the age of 88. During the past few years, Eunice suffered several strokes and wasn't doing too well. Her family gathered at the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass. last week to begin to say their goodbyes. The Shriver family released a statement, here's a little bit of it:

"She was the light of our lives, a mother, wife, grandmother, sister and aunt who taught us by example and with passion what it means to live a faith-driven life of love and service to others. For each of us, she often seemed to stop time itself -- to run another Special Olympics Games, to visit us in our homes, to attend to her own mother, her sisters and brothers, and to sail, tell stories, and laugh and serve her friends. We have always been honored to share our mother with people of good will the world over who believe, as she did, that there is no limit to the human spirit. At this time of loss, we feel overwhelmed by the gifts of prayer and support poured out to us from so many who loved her. We are together in our belief that she is now in heaven, rejoicing with her family, enjoying the fruits of her faith, and still urging us onward to the challenges ahead. Her love will inspire us to faith and service always."