Late Night FDL: Game Theory

By: Thursday March 22, 2012 8:00 pm

A chorus of unconvincing shock arose when Mitt Romney’s flack so blithely admitted that whatever bonkers positions he’s taken to appeal to the craziest of Republican primary voters could simply be shaken away like the scribbles on an Etch-A-Sketch, and general election voters would be none the wiser. Although Romney’s desperate and flailing rivals evidently cleaned out Toys-R-Us to capitalize on this supposed gaffe, in fact his statement is anything but controversial; from Karl Rove’s K Street money-laundering shops on down to the lowliest Mississippi trailer park, Republicans applaud lying, as long as it wins elections. And for them, anyway, the lying tends to pay off.

Promising one thing and delivering its diametric opposite has a long and hallowed tradition in Republican politics.

And, On Piano, Dick Nixon: Music and Anarchy

By: Sunday January 22, 2012 9:30 am

When then-President Richard Nixon sat down at the piano on the stage of the Grand Old Opry in 1974, he was reinforcing a conservative, polemical wall of sound to help contain several decades of transformational popular music, from blues and jazz to rock & roll. Music was the last thing on his mind.

As part of his notorious race-based “southern strategy,” Nixon led the efforts of conservative elites to co-opt American country-western music. He got the idea from George Wallace’s 1968 campaign, which Wallace had filled with country stars like Hank Snow and Hank Williams Jr.

Late Night FDL: Second Acts or Bidness as Usual?

By: Saturday January 7, 2012 8:00 pm

While F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “There are no second acts in American lives,” in US politics and public opinions it sometimes seems there’s nothing but second acts. I am old enough to have seen Richard Nixon go from “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” to his election as president as a “New Nixon” in 1968.

The last few weeks, I have seen a few articles about two individuals making their personal pleas and tours for redemption/second acts.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Wise, Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War with China

By: Saturday August 13, 2011 1:59 pm

The United States spies on China as it does on many nations of geostrategic significance – but thus far at least, the Chinese book publishing arena hasn’t yet produced anything as sizzling about its own world of spies and spymasters as David Wise has in his page-turner, Tiger Trap: America’ Secret Spy War with China.

John LeCarre – writing fiction – mastered the art of taking shadows of real world sophisticated spycraft and turning them into some of the best novels of the last generation. What David Wise has done is zero in on and reveal the stories of America’s real George Smiley’s – only problem is that most of them have none of the competence or the layers of complexly organized subterfuge that LeCarre’s principal character had.

Compensate the Victims! 50th Anniversary of Start of US Chemical Warfare Program in Vietnam

By: Wednesday August 10, 2011 5:03 pm

As Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Marjorie Cohn notes at CommonDreams, “Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the chemical warfare program in Vietnam without sufficient remedial action by the U.S. government.” More than 3 million people, including Vietnamese, Vietnamese-Americans, US veterans, and their children have either died, sickened or been disabled, and their children may, too, as the result of the wide-scale use of chemical agents by US forces during the Vietnam War.

The Anarcho-Rightists

By: Sunday July 31, 2011 11:53 am

The President thinks he can do business with anarcho-rightists. It won’t happen. The wreckers will destroy the economy rather than “do business”.

Strange Tales from a Strange Time: Nixon, Ailes, Cameron, Murdoch

By: Friday July 22, 2011 6:00 pm

Watching the fall of Rupert Murdoch play itself out has brought back old, old memories. Memories of the only political scandal I’ve experienced in my homeland that comes even close to what’s been unfolding in the UK right now: Watergate. And to judge from this British piece and this Canadian one, I’m not the only person to be thinking of Watergate in connection with all of this.

“The Sixties” Debate

By: Sunday May 22, 2011 9:30 am

We were idling away the evening on the balcony, drinking wine and talking about everything from the Keith Richards book to Medicare cuts. Our neighbors – she a world class blues singer; he an accomplished painter, musician and entertaining raconteur – were just paying a warm, old-American style social call.

But when I happened to mention that many today consider our generation, the Sixties generation, a failure, I set the singer’s eyes ablaze and we took off on a lively historical survey of the last few decades.

On Bradley Manning’s Guilt, Who Will Be Barack Obama’s John Mitchell?

By: Friday April 22, 2011 2:55 pm

Immediately upon reading Michael Whitney’s post about President Barack Obama’s statement to Logan Price about Bradley — “we are a nation of laws…. he broke the law!” — I was reminded of Richard Nixon’s statement about Charles Manson in the midst of his trial. . . .

David House: Obama Channels Nixon With New Charges Against Bradley Manning

By: Wednesday March 2, 2011 3:45 pm

David House: “Through WikiLeaks we have been given direct evidence that the White House openly lies to congress and the American people in order to achieve political ends. Richard Nixon, in an attempt to stifle government transparency, once called Ellsberg “the most dangerous man in America” and accused him of “providing aid and comfort to the enemy.” Today we see the Obama administration continuing the legacy Nixon started by declaring whistleblowers as enemies of the state. It is a sad and dangerous day for transparency advocates everywhere.”

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.

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