Do you watch the utterly fascinating First Ladies series on C-Span? The most recent offering there is Lady Bird Johnson so you know that I DVR’d it and watched it more than once. Oh it was a fabulous thing – my only quibble is that they showcased Lynda Bird’s snoozefest of a wedding instead of Luci Baines’ extravaganza on the flimsy pretext that Lynda’s was a White House wedding and Luci only had her reception there.

C-Span has found a stayle that works and they do not ever veer away from it. And that style is Talking Heads. The first Ladies’ Series is remarkable in that it features accomplished women commentators who live as God intended – no botox, not face lifts, no hair extensions, in fact there is precious little hair fussing to be seen. The make up is minimal – pancake to keep down the facial shine, one shade of lipstick to suit all and a heavy hand with the eyeliner.


Host Susan Swain, author Betty Boyd Caroli and media figure Cokie Roberts. Click to see a gross misuse of Maybelline Brow & Eye Pencil.

I don’t mind the wrinkles so much. It’s quite refreshing, actually –  I am pretty sick of women of a certain age with faces  stretched shiny from regular injections and cartoonishly plumped lips. I get the whole thing about studio lighting but tut this eyeliner is killing me.

Hey Hey LBJ

Love your cute little baby ears, Lyndon.


photo found at Our Presidents

Happy Birthday, LBJ!

On August 27th, the LBJ Library and Museum will offer birthday cake and refreshments so that visitors can commemorate the birthday of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He would have been 105 years old.

Ah Lyndon. there was nobody else like him.


The way things were: a styrofoam baby boogie board, SPF-nothing and a wet dog.

Here’s two lovely little birthday videos from 1964. I can’t get the audio on either one of them. It is a pity.

In 1964, LBJ cuts his birthday cake in the shape of the United

LBJ at his birthday party in Atlantic City, is greeted by crowd in various national dress. One group begins to sing “Happy Birthday.” Sign says Happy Birthday. link

Update: Here’s the NBC footage of that same birthday celebration at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. this one has audio and a few bonus moments:

  • Danny Thomas glomming onto LBJ’s arm for the march to the cake then photobombing the cake cutting itself
  • An orchid corsage pinned to Lady Bird’s trim handbag
  • Lyndon laughing as he waves a big knife in the general direction of the Kennedys

We Interrupt This Lack Of Blogging …

These are the drafts that I have recently started in my blogging folder:

  • Red Crossed – a rant against the money-grubbing Red Cross and how they decide to use your donations. You’re not giving money for what you think you are. Try to guess how I feel about the Red Cross.
  • Dear Barack – about the note that the Boston Bomber wrote to serve as his last will and testament as he was being surrounded in that boat. Key words: martyr, retribution for U.S. military action, “collateral damage”
  • The Other Half – husbands who have predicable and annoying standard responses when you ask them any question. What do you mean ask them any question? What do you mean just what I said? What do you mean you can’t stand it anymore?
  • The Brother-In-Laws of Joan Baez – this one I am really going to finish one day. It involves a seaside hippie nature wedding of one of her sisters where the wedding dress was a designer original.
  • Uh Oh- Breaking news about a shortage of dialysis tubes after an Italian earthquake. Because who doesn’t want to keep informed about global dialysis news?

There are about 20 more but I am ignoring them all to devote my time to something much more important.

Opening today at the LBJ Library 

“The First Ladies Collection” of Madame Alexander Dolls.

pretty as a little lady bird

link via OurPesidents*

*I’m not linking them because today is the founding of the Red Cross in 1881 and they chose to go with a picture of a dead Kennedy instead of The Angel Of The Battlefield. Here – let me fix that:

2 clara barton dolls

The Leader Of the So Far Still Free World


I wonder who had the job of waking him up for the Boston bomber press conference last night?

Does anyone else think he was wearing his pajamas under that suit?

Did you ever see a more mournful expresssion on a  US President making a statement of national interest ever? Ever?

  • Harry Truman tells America about the bombing of Hiroshma:

They have been repaid many fold.

  • FDR declaring war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor:
Roosevelt Declares War

A date which will live in infamy.

  • LBJ and a dozen other mourners after the Kennedy assassination:
HIstoric Images From The Amercan 20th Century

I do solemnly swear …

  • Barry Sotero pulled out of bed and forced to compliment the (stupid) Boston police during a pitch-perfect speech that he obviously had nothing to do with creating:

To paraphrase Uncle Ruslan: “Being loser!”

Famous Ladies From The Past – Part 1

Caroline Kennedy Listen, I’m no fan of Caroline Kennedy. Life’s cruel fates have distilled all that Kennedy drive, all that Bouvier style, all that citizenry love and expectation down into this bag of human disappointment:


How does one say “ya know” in Japanese?

I finished the J.B West memoir and the underlying  message is that the work of the White House staff goes on no matter who lives there and once families change, the transition is total and complete. Plans are made between the incoming First Lady and the chief usher before moving day so that when the new family enters the building for the first time after swearing in, their possession are in place and the private living quarters are all set up and ready for them with no trace of the previous family whatsoever. After the Kennedy assassination, Jackie asked Lady Bird for a favor – to let the nursery school on the third floor continue until after the  Christmas holidays. That way the transition for Caroline and the 19 other children would seem more natural than just stopping things the day the Kennedys moved out. Lady Bird agreed and that brings us to this sad passage:


Except for a few sentimental servants, she was generally ignored. Lynda and Luci were the new Princesses.

That must have been tough for a little kid – her position slightly off-center in the spotlight came to a sudden end along with everything else and the one home she knew was now a lonely place where she was ignored. She was unfriended in RL at age 6.

This is the saddest passage in the entire book.

Famous Ladies From The Past, Part 2 – Barbara Piasecka Johnson
Famous Ladies From The Past, Part 3 – Annette Funicello

Wanted Dead Or Alive

From Our Department of Are You Shitting Me Right Now? :

Who is the dastardly fiend who thought it would be a good idea to make a bagel that looks like it’s pumpernickel on the outside but is in fact cinnamon and raisin on the inside? I would like to know. My baloney, cheese and mustard would like to know, too.


President Lyndon B. Johnson reacts to finding cinnamon and raisins in the bagel sandwich he brought to work for lunch. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara realizes his “I thought it was pumpernickel” defense won’t save him.     

Our Presidents