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New film: LBJ
#11
Archie Bunker was right: What a meathead.
"All that is necessary for tyranny to succeed is for good men to do nothing." (unknown)

James Tracy: "There is sometimes an undue amount of paranoia among some conspiracy researchers that can contribute to flawed observations and analysis."

Gary Cornwell (Dept. Chief Counsel HSCA): "A fact merely marks the point at which we have agreed to let investigation cease."

Alan Ford: "Just because you believe it, that doesn't make it so."
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#12
As usual, we see how differently almost all huge political figures are treated compared to the Kennedys. LBJ is probably the one President about whom it is impossible to find a positive anecdote. Everyone who knew him, who has chosen to comment, has mentioned his cruelty, his crudeness, his insensitivity towards others. He clearly was a rotten human being.

The fact that another well-known "leftist" like Rob Reiner has chosen to portray this horrific man in a favorable light illustrates again just how phony this "left" and "right" paradigm of ours is. I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that Reiner thinks Oswald killed JFK and that he wasn't nearly as good a President as LBJ. How are the Kennedys portrayed in this film?

The old adage about putting lipstick on a pig should apply here.
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#13
I will admit to being taken aback by information about who one of Woody Harrelson's parents was...





His mother's maiden name: Diane Lou Oswald.

Um...

Astounding.
www.jfkessentials.com
Where Angels Tread Lightly, 2015, John M. Newman
State Secret, 2013, Bill Simpich
Oswald and the CIA, 2008 ed., John M. Newman
Deep Politics and DP ll, 2003 ed., Peter Dale Scott
Our Man In Mexico... 2008, Jefferson Morley
Wilderness of Mirrors, 1980, David C. Martin
JFK and Vietnam, 1992, John M. Newman
Enemy of the Truth...2012, Sherry P. Fiester
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#14
As per the question about the screenwriter, this is his first movie.

What a goof ball.
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#15
I had this argument with Orson Welles when I met him in 1970.
When I criticized Johnson for the Vietnam War, he became
outraged. Welles was an old New Deal liberal, a friend of FDR. Welles claimed
Johnson was a great president. I disagreed, and Welles cited the civil rights
and voting rights acts. I said yes, those were important achievements,
but you couldn't ignore the war. Welles was not happy with
me arguing over this. His lifelong progressive concern with
African American rights made Johnson's legislative achievements
so impressive (as they were) that they trumped any concern he might have
had about the war. I could have added that the
tragedy of Johnson's presidency was that the war, which he knew
was unwinnable, ultimately destroyed his Great Society programs. Dr. King's controversial
speeches toward the end of his life pointed out this severe conflict. And the
tapes of Johnson talking with his mentor, Senator Richard
Russell, in mid-1964 show that Johnson already knew by that early date that the war was
unwinnable but that he felt powerless not to fight it. The
real reason (unspoken) was that the people who put him in office
did so to expand the war, and he was beholden to them. Russell
predicted the dire consequences of the war quite precisely. And
then Johnson was turned out by the Wise Men in 1968 when
they realized belatedly, after Tet, that the war was being lost, and because of
its effect on the gold crisis that was threatening the U.S. economy.

As I note in INTO THE NIGHTMARE, "Henry Brandon, the chief American correspondent of the Sunday Times of London, reports in his autobiography, Special Relationships: A Foreign Correspondent's Memoirs from Roosevelt to Reagan (1988), about a conversation he had with President Johnson in 1968, after that decision was made: 'LBJ, aware by then of his public repudiation, seemed to drag a burden of anguish in his wake when he spoke his own epitaph during a flight to visit President Truman in Independence, Missouri, aboard Air Force One: "The only difference between Kennedy's assassination and mine is that mine was a live one, which makes it all a little more torturing."' (Johnson visited Truman in Independence on May 3 and October 11 of that year.) Former Secretary of State [Dean] Acheson summed up the March decision by the Wise Men by saying that 'we can no longer do the job we set out to do [in Vietnam] in the time we have left, and we must begin to take steps to disengage.' Carl Oglesby in The Yankee and CowboyWar interprets what he calls Johnson's forced 'abdication' as a Yankee power play by the Wise Men to 'break off [from the Cowboys] a war believed to be unwinnable except through an internal police state, both sides fighting for control of the levers of military and state-police power through control of the presidency. Johnson's Ides of March was a less bloody Dallas, but it was a Dallas just the same: it came of a concerted effort of conspirators to install a new national policy by clandestine means. Its main difference from Dallas is that it finally did not succeed.'"

A true movie about Johnson would go into all this, but they wouldn't dare. And I am sure
Reiner and the writer have no clue anyway. An odd footnote: after I gave Oliver Stone's
NIXON a rave review for Boxoffice, I suggested he should follow it up with a movie
about LBJ, to make it a trilogy. He sent me a note saying he wasn't that interested in LBJ.
I found that surprising in light of the JFK and NIXON films and their focus on Vietnam and the
assassination.
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#16
I really don't see how anyone can make a claim for LBJ being a great president.

Even if one leans over backwards and tries not to give him the full blame for the war, I mean it was him sending more and more troops over there. It was him authorizing Rolling Thunder. No one else could do that.

When you add in some of the other things, like Indonesia, probably the bloodiest CIA coup in history, and Brazil, and Dominican Republic, and Greece, and Congo etc. I mean what the heck are these people talking about?

The first civil rights act was started by JFK. The Voting Rights Act was actually caused by King over Selma.

Johnson was a part of both of them but he was not at all Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill.

And then when one also adds in what he did in the Middle East, for his buddies the Rockefellers, I mean give me a break. LBJ represented the worst aspects of the whole Democratic version of the anti communist crusade.
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#17
True. Some claims about LBJ's supposed greatness (like Reiner's) are
fantasies. Some (like Welles's) are partly due to the phenomenon
of the single-issue voter. We see this all the time. People who like
one aspect of a politician's record, because it's important to them,
turn blind eyes to everything else. Yes, those acts of Congress were historic, and
the roles of JFK and Dr. King were crucial, even though Johnson gets most of the credit. Still, he
did a lot to push them through Congress at a time when
segregationists still had a lot of power in both houses. Taking away that credit from LBJ is also a distortion of the record. But focusing on
the domestic policies and ignoring Vietnam is stupefying. Particularly since Vietnam
had such a damaging effect on the domestic policies. People can be very myopic. It
is like Democrats today who don't want to hear about drone killings but just
talk about the Affordable Care Act when they praise Obama.
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#18
Jim,

How about your next book being a biography of Johnson? I'd read that.....
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#19
I am waiting for Caro's new volume.

I want to see what he does with LBJ's escalation of the war and what he says Kennedy would have done.

And I also want to see what he does with all the other reversals of Kennedy's revolutionary foreign policy.

I thought his last volume was pretty bad. I reviewed it for Consortium, Bob Parry's wonderful site.
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#20
Don Jeffries Wrote:As usual, we see how differently almost all huge political figures are treated compared to the Kennedys. LBJ is probably the one President about whom it is impossible to find a positive anecdote. Everyone who knew him, who has chosen to comment, has mentioned his cruelty, his crudeness, his insensitivity towards others. He clearly was a rotten human being.

The fact that another well-known "leftist" like Rob Reiner has chosen to portray this horrific man in a favorable light illustrates again just how phony this "left" and "right" paradigm of ours is. I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that Reiner thinks Oswald killed JFK and that he wasn't nearly as good a President as LBJ. How are the Kennedys portrayed in this film?

The old adage about putting lipstick on a pig should apply here.

Hear!, hear!, Mr. Jeffries

He bulldozed, blackmailed, bullied himself onto the 1960 Democratic presidential ticket, and was merely days away from being under intense public scrutiny for his role in at least a handful of shameful scandals unbecoming of a sitting Vice-President. But go ahead, Mr. Reiner, crown him the greatest thing since honey. What next?, a Reiner production entitled "Benedict Arnold, His Bright Side"...
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