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



Cookbook from 1961ish

I follow a charming website called Our Presidents, a site which describes itself as: “One space to bring the past 13 Presidents together. Discover behind-the-scenes history here. We’re a nationwide network of the U.S. National Archives.” Lots of Lyndon there. Recently featured was The Republican Congressional Cook Book, circa 1961, courtesy of Congressman Gerald R.  Ford.

The simple recipes are the type that if the booklet was spiral-bound instead of stapled, it could pass as a church ladies fundraiser. Here the recipes are contributed by Congressmen, their wives and some other distinguished Washington types. It’s pretty much what you’d expect – lobster from Maine, apples from Washington and so on. Utah, though, puts forth a recipe calling for fresh crabs. I’ve never been to Utah but who knows? maybe they do have native crabs.

This is my favorite recipe in the book. I believe that there is a strong possibility that no one has actually ever made it.

Step 1: look up “No. 2 1/2 can”

Page Belcher! Great name. I looked him up. there are three or four head shots from him campaign literature that are used repeatedly on the internet. He looks serious, farmer-ish, neither particularly trustworthy nor shifty. And then there’s this:

April 14 1961 – President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson attend a Congressional Coffee Hour in the Blue Room, White House, Washington, D.C. (L-R) Representative Page Belcher of Oklahoma; Representative Thomas N. Downing of Virginia; President Kennedy; Representative James H. Morrison of Louisiana; Representative Edwin E. Willis of Louisiana; Vice President Johnson; Representative Leonor K. Sullivan of Missouri.

Page Belcher, jolly guest at a Congressional coffee hour about the same point in time when this booklet was published. Not sure what exactly “the coffee hour was” because there are several posed photos like this one in the JFK Library with different people in them. All of the ladies are wearing hats.

The recipes are interspersed with these little boxed bits


Jokes, I guess these are – many of them take potshots at “The New Frontier“. Some of that looks mighty familiar. Sure,  it’s all fun and games until somebody loses a country. Roll through the pages expecting mild amusement and your heart will stop when you read the final page.


That’s what I believe, too but I don’t have confidence that today’s “Republicans” – at least the elcted ones – are in agreement. I don’t expect to know everything about government or what does on in those smoky backrooms, but I know a little something and it just doesn’t make sense to me. The world is turned upside down, you can’t trust what you read in the papers or hear on TV, what you see with your own eyes is touted as just the opposite. Too bad the Libertarians are so goofy – I’m in the market for a new political affiliation.

The Republican Congressional Cook Book, circa 1961, courtesy of Congressman Gerald R.  Ford.