Lyndon Johnson

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1964 Memo Reveals Feds' Rampant Zeal in Firing Gays

'Once a homo always a homo,' document says

(Newser) - Lyndon Johnson may have signed the Civil Rights Act, but when it came to gay people, his administration was more than ready to discriminate. In a 1964 memo, revealed today by the New York Times , an administration official outlines just how dedicated the government was to rooting out homosexuals. "... More »

War on Poverty Isn't Working

Robert Rector thinks we've forgotten LBJ's goal of getting people to help themselves

(Newser) - Today marks 50 years since Lyndon Johnson declared his "unconditional war on poverty." Yet the percentage of Americans living in poverty has remained roughly unchanged in the decades since, despite some $916 billion in federal spending on means-tested welfare programs in 2012 alone, Robert Rector from the conservative... More »

This President Had the Most 'Grandiose Narcissism'

Lyndon Johnson was full of himself, but it may have helped

(Newser) - When you're running the country, being narcissistic may come in handy. Psychologists and experts on presidential personalities have put together a list of the presidents who had the most "grandiose narcissism"—which, the Houston Chronicle explains, is characterized by a showy and extroverted personality. That's in... More »

LBJ Nearly Ran for 2nd Term— With Dramatic Helicopter Ride

President was horrified by 1968 convention violence

(Newser) - Lyndon Johnson nearly changed his mind and ran for re-election in 1968 at the 11th hour, according to declassified audio tapes. Seeing on TV the Democratic party's chaotic convention in Chicago—where a massive police force clashed with anti-war protesters—the president feared that delegates would reject his Vietnam-war... More »

ACORN Worker Gets $100K, but Still No Story Correction?

And psst, LBJ almost nuked US by accident

(Newser) - James O'Keefe may be paying $100,000 to an ACORN employee who got fired after an O'Keefe video portrayed him as a would-be sex trafficker, but Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic points out that you wouldn't know it from looking at The original story is... More »

What Obama Can Learn From LBJ

David Frum: Lyndon Johnson knew how to manipulate

(Newser) - David Frum detects "an unspoken critique of Barack Obama' in the fourth volume of Robert Caro's massive LBJ biography, The Passage of Power. Whereas Lyndon Johnson cajoled, wooed, and threatened in order to amass support for major bills—like the Civil Rights Act and Medicare—President Obama recoils... More »

Air Force One Death Call to Rose Kennedy Released

National Archives release recording of conversations day JFK was killed

(Newser) - A heart-wrenching call from Lyndon Johnson placed to Rose Kennedy from Air Force One has finally been released more than 48 years after her son was assassinated. "I wish to God there was something I could do," says Johnson the day John F. Kennedy was killed. "I... More »

Jackie O: MLK a 'Phony'

...and other revelations from a new book of interviews

(Newser) - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was not a fan of Martin Luther King Jr, once describing him as "tricky" and a "phony," after hearing FBI tapes of him with a woman other than his wife in a hotel room. That's just one of the revelations contained in a... More »

Top 10 Presidential Getaways

Martha's Vineyard isn't the only game in town

(Newser) - President Obama is chilling in swanky Martha's Vineyard this week ... again. And while the Massachusetts hotspot is a vacation destination that has attracted presidents Kennedy and Clinton, Time r uns down a list of other noted places where commanders in chief have gone to unwind:
  • Florida White House: Richard
... More »

ABC Says Jackie Tapes Not So Sordid, but Won't Spill

You'll have to wait for the network special

(Newser) - ABC officials are saying that their Jackie O tapes are not nearly as "sordid" as claimed in press reports—but aren't saying what's on them. The Daily Mail has reported that Jackie Kennedy told historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in a lengthy interview that she believed Lyndon Johnson... More »

Report: Jackie O Thought LBJ Plotted JFK Assassination

Knew of husband's intern flings, had affairs of her own

(Newser) - Jackie Kennedy Onassis believed Lyndon B. Johnson was behind JFK's assassination, knew about her husband's affairs with his interns, and had her own fling with actor William Holden. Those are the stunning revelations from an interview she held decades ago, tapes of which are about to be released... More »

Most Productive Congress Since 1960s Adjourns

111th passed vast legislation in 'dysfunctional' environment

(Newser) - The 111th Congress adjourned last night, after passing more key legislation that affected more Americans than any since Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s “Great Society,” Bloomberg reports. That included $1.67 trillion spent to save the economy, health insurance for 32 million people, and new regulations on Wall Street;... More »

Secret Service Almost Shot LBJ After JFK Assassination

New book reveals fresh details about tragedy

(Newser) - We almost lost a second president just hours after losing JFK, according to The Kennedy Detail, an account of the assassination by members of the president’s security detail. In it, retired agent Gerald Blaine admits to nearly shooting the VP-turned-president, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Blaine was protecting Johnson’s house... More »

WikiLeaks Documents Are Not the Pentagon Papers

War logs don't match revelations of Vietnam skullduggery

(Newser) - The release of 92,000 classified documents related to the Afghanistan war has prompted many comparisons to the Pentagon Papers. But that's a bit superficial, writes Richard Tofel for ProPublica . "In terms of important disclosures, it's not even close." The biggest WikiLeaks revelations involve Taliban fighters' use of... More »

A History of Political Cussing

Joe Biden will go down in history with these other respected figures

(Newser) - Quite a big deal has been made over Joe Biden dropping the F-bomb . “But America has a long and honorable tradition of top elected officials using salty language,” writes John Dickerson on Slate . Allow him to educate you:
  • Barack Obama: Famously called Kanye West a “jackass.”
... More »

Forget It, Dems: Obama's No LBJ

President doesn't have LBJ's deal-making skills

(Newser) - People are urging President Obama to start acting like Lyndon Johnson, but the president isn't going to suddenly turn into LBJ any more than the 2,000-page health care bill will turn into the 4-page Civil Rights Act LBJ muscled through as Senate majority leader in 1957, writes Daniel Henninger.... More »

Obama Needs a Louder Left

Without a strong progressive movement, country won't shift leftward

(Newser) - If Barack Obama wants to be a transformational progressive president like Lyndon Johnson or FDR, he’s going to need a strong liberal movement in the streets. “Every Democratic president since Johnson has raised the hope that he would bring with him a new era of progressive reform,”... More »

Is Obama's Afghanistan Turning Into LBJ's Vietnam?

Both presidents tried to push big home agendas during war

(Newser) - As the war in Afghanistan rages alongside President Obama’s sweeping domestic battles, he’s keenly aware of the dangers of becoming a modern-day LBJ, an insider tells the New York Times. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program at home was dogged by the Vietnam war, a historian says; Obama... More »

McNamara, Palin Share Lousy Exit Strategies

(Newser) - The governor of Alaska and the architect of the Vietnam War both make fine examples of how not to quit a government post, David Broder writes in the Washington Post. Robert McNamara waited 28 years to explain that he stepped down as defense secretary because of his grave doubts about... More »

Rot in Hell, Mr. McNamara

(Newser) - At long last, Robert Strange McNamara has “shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of hell,” writes journalist and author Joseph Galloway, who couldn’t be more pleased. “McNamara was the original bean-counter—a man who knew the cost of everything but... More »

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