Picking Up the Pieces: The Great Society at 50

By: Wednesday May 21, 2014 7:06 pm

In a couple of days, America will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of LBJ’s inception of the Great Society, and there is much to celebrate — despite the inclination among today’s conservatives, be it Republicans and Democrats or Libertarians for its impending “implosion” that will eventually occur, given our ever-increasing national debt of an approximate $27 trillion. And yes, I am being somewhat cynical despite my constant obsessing when it comes to “crafting” a newer and better Great Society that is sure to occur in the years ahead, which the Super Wealthy will strenuously oppose.

 

“Oops I Shot the President” and Other JFK Conspiracies

By: Wednesday November 6, 2013 6:43 pm

There are plenty of conspiracy theories floating around about the assassination of President Kennedy, and some are just as plausible as the Warren Commission’s report of a crazed gunman acting alone. We’ll be exploring these theories on November 25, when television pioneer John Barbour, who interviewed New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison about the Kennedy assassination, will be my guest on Firedoglake.com’s Movie Night with special co-host JP Sottile.

Late Night: Judicial Temperament, and Not

By: Thursday February 28, 2013 8:00 pm

It’s funny, albeit in the most depressing possible way, to hear Washington “journalists” discuss Supreme Court Justice (!) Antonin Scalia’s cartoonish hostility to the Voting Rights Act in terms usually reserved for, well, jurists, when Scalia and the Majority he leads are nothing of the kind. Wasting time talking about things we imagine Supreme Court Justices must thoughtfully consider as they contemplate scuttling fifty years of precedent is, as we’ve previously seen, patently ridiculous, when we know in advance Nino and the Gang are going to whatever it is their political movement currently needs at the moment, which is, among other things, a lot less of that messy ol’ democracy thing.

Two For The Price of One

By: Thursday July 19, 2012 8:00 pm

When Ann Romney haughtily declared this morning that “You People” had better well quit nosing around in her family’s affairs already, I was reminded of my mother’s perennial and typically generous comment regarding couples who were either startlingly unattractive or otherwise even less appealing together than the sum of their parts: “Well, at least they found each other.”

Indeed.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Hannah Gurman, The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond

By: Sunday July 8, 2012 1:59 pm

The Dissent Papers is that rare treat of scholarship that reflects careful research and close attention to lively, elegant prose. I recommend it highly to all interested readers. If this afternoon’s exchange is only half as rich as the book itself, we’ll all still walk away having been deeply enriched.

What Even Woodward and Bernstein Can’t Say Out Loud: Nixon Wrecked the Paris Peace Talks

By: Sunday June 17, 2012 5:00 pm

The recent retraversal by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of their Watergate reportage is a welcome, albeit flawed, corrective to the decades of efforts by Nixon and his cheerleaders to rewrite history.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gordon Goldstein, Lessons in Disaster

By: Sunday January 10, 2010 2:00 pm

Gordon Goldstein’s Lessons in Disaster (Holt, 2008) is a remarkable and very relevant book. The author spent more than a year working with an icon from the second half of the twentieth century, McGeorge Bundy, as he struggled to compose his memoirs. Bundy was one of the most influential figures in a postwar generation of smart, energetic, confident, well-born men who transformed universities, politics, and foreign policy in Cold War America. As Goldstein explains, Bundy was the central character in David Halberstam’s rueful parable of The Best and the Brightest. He was one of the Masters of the Universe who brought the United States into a terribly self-defeating and enormously destructive war in Vietnam. Readers today might naturally wonder about the parallels with the architects of the twenty-first century wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the investment strategies and corporate management philosophies that brought the world economy to its knees.

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