by baldilocks

I’m old enough to remember when I was called delusional by an alleged conservative for pointing this out. That happened in 2008.

But I’m certain that Don Surber was pointing it out back then also. Here he is in a well-earned I-told-you-so:

Barack Obama is a communist. Mild compared to Castro or Mao, but nevertheless a believer in state control of everything.

Electing a communist president was easy, although it took more than seven decades. While the steps were many — Stalin’s Soviet Union collapsed before achieving his goal — the major ones are obvious in hindsight.

The quest began after Stalin stole America’s nuclear bomb secrets. Roy Cohn prosecuted Stalin’s spies. We hanged them.

Stalin got revenge. He placed a big fat target on Cohn, who went to Washington to help Senator Joseph McCarthy ferret communists out of the Army and State Department.

Many people confuse this with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, which examined communism in Hollywood. Much ridiculed in the press (even conservatives mocked HUAC) look at Hollywood today and try to deny that communism lives on in America’s entertainment industry.

The elitists ripped McCarthy, called his quest for the truth a witch hunt, and made his name synonymous with the type of investigative fishing expedition Bobby Mueller has engaged in.

The net result was you no longer could call anyone a communist in America. Not even an actual communist. We call them liberal, progressive, socialist, and even Marxist, but never in polite society may we call them communists.

The downfall of McCarthy protected the communists in our federal government. We put one — John Brennan — as head of our CIA.

Indeed we did. I and many of my oldest and closest friends are also old enough to remember when open allegiance to communism was a huge disqualifier for any intelligence service position, much less DCI.

Don features Leftism’s takeover of most American churches and begins with my “favorite” trap: the (Lyndon Baines)

“Yeah, churches, Ah fooled yew, too!”

Johnson Amendment of 1950 – the political and, more importantly, the spiritual lure used to silence churches, at least the ones prone to engaging in wrong-think aka the undiluted Word of God.

What gets me sometimes is the failure of smart, capable and trained people to see the century-long pattern of infiltration, culminating with the election of hardcore Leftist Barack H. Obama. His rise was the result of the Organized Left’s patient effort to turn this country into the crown jewel of communist achievement. The Great Battle Won. But the Organized Left began the celebration too soon and got cocky. And now we are seeing the after-action reports that they couldn’t keep hidden. But they never did try to hide. Not really.

Many of us never did want to see. Still don’t.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Packard plant, Detroit

By John Ruberry

Two months after I returned from my urban exploration trip to Detroit David Maraniss’ Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story was published.

For me the timing couldn’t have been better, As I drove west to my home in the Chicago area I mused, “What in the hell went wrong with Detroit?”

Maraniss, who was born in Detroit, is the author of biographies of Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, and Barack Obama. More on the Obama book later.

After seeing Chrysler’s two-minute long Super Bowl commercial for the 200c that featured the Motor City that aired five years ago, Maraniss wondered the same thing I did and decided to write a Detroit book.

Rather than focusing on the deadly 1967 riots that hastened white flight and the exit of thousands of businesses, Maraniss zooms in on a period where Detroit seemed poised to join New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as an American Great City: the fall of 1962 through the spring of 1964. Detroit’s Big Three were building cars than ever. The city’s long unfulfilled goal of hosting the Summer Olympics finally seemed within reach. Liberal Democrat Jerome Cavanaugh, Detroit’s version of John F. Kennedy, was forward-thinking on civil rights, as was Michigan’s Republican governor, George Romney. Motown Records was enjoying its first taste of national exposure–with greater glory yet to come. The Reverend C.L. Franklin, father of Aretha Franklin, organized a Civil Rights march led by Martin Luther King; and MLK was warmly greeted at the airport by Cavanaugh’s pick for police commissioner, another liberal, George Clifton Edwards, Jr. The president of the United Auto Workers, Walter Reuther, was a prominent supporter of civil rights too.

Downtown Detroit from inside the abandoned Fisher Body 21 plant
Downtown Detroit from inside the abandoned Fisher Body 21 plant

The foundation seemed solid for what was then American’s fifth-most populous city. But there were noticeable cracks. Shortly before the International Olympic Committee vote on its choice for host city of the 1968 summer games, an open housing bill in the Detroit Common Council was overwhelmingly defeated, which led supporters of that bill to appeal to IOC members to deny Detroit the games. Local black nationalist Albert Cleage was gaining support and Malcom X spoke at a Detroit church where he condemned King’s call for non-violence in his Message to the Grass Roots address, where the few whites in the audience were forced to sit in their own section. Edwards’ push to pivot the Detroit Police Department away from its racist legacy was meeting resistance from rank-and-file cops and the DPD brass.

Interestingly, Maraniss intersperses excerpts from letters from white racists to Cavanaugh and Romney several times in Once in a Great City. He also includes a quote from  Rush Limbaugh II about where he lived “prided itself that it never allowed a Negro to live in it and no Negro lived there permanently.”

What the heck does Rush Limbaugh’s father have to do with Detroit? Nothing. However, in his Obama biography Maraniss points out many inconsistencies–or should I say lies?–within the future president’s Dreams from My Father memoir. Rather than being happy about the unexpected publicity about the book from the conservative radio host and others, Maraniss responded in anger to those attacks on a president that he supports. Which explains the author’s end-around attack on the younger Limbaugh. Such pettiness has no place in a serious book.

Michigan Bungalows in Grixdale Farms
Michigan Bungalows in Grixdale Farms

Something else happened in 1962 in Detroit that would hasten its demise, which Maraniss mentions only twice. Three months before the timeline of this book begins, Detroit’s municipal and commuter income taxes went into effect. Those are good reasons not to live or work in such a place.

Near the end of the book President Lyndon B. Johnson, after departing from Air Force One in Detroit on his way to the University of Michigan to give what became known as his Great Society Speech, offered remarks that seem comical today. “Prosperity in America must begin here in Detroit,” he told cheering crowds brought in for the occasion. “You folks in Detroit put American citizens on wheels, you have the American economy on the move. Unemployment in Detroit is down, profits are up, wages are good, and there is no problem too tough or too challenging for us to solve.”

But for LBJ Big Government was the solution to every problem. The Model Cities program, which Cavanaugh bought into big-time, was perhaps one of the biggest debacles of the Great Society.

Despite its flaws I heartily recommend this book. Because another city–Chicago perhaps, which also recently bid on an Olympics–may be the next Detroit.

Or perhaps your city is next.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.

Luke 14:31-32

One of the most important things a general has to decide during a battle that’s an uphill fight is whether to commit his reserves or retreat and regroup.

At Waterloo Napoleon committed his guard and lost the battle and his last chance of empire. At the Wilderness Lee’s Texans made the difference against Grant as the tide was turning. Michael de Ruyter the greatest warrior in the history of the Dutch was the absolute master of knowing when making that extra fight was right.

That decision knowing if it’s time to fight and when it’s not is the difference between a great general and a good general.

The same is true in politics Lyndon Johnson one of the greatest political operators in history was the man in charge of money in the 1940 congressional elections for Democrats. While he had the money to finance and in some cases over-finance candidates as Robert Caro points out on page 651 of his volume. Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power some were refused:

Francis T. Murphy said he had a “50-50” chance. He could win, he said, “by getting vote to polls in key wards.” but money was needed to accomplish that. “None,” Johnson wrote next to Murphy’s name. C.H. Armbruster of Ohio asked for $1000, but said he would take less: “urgent.” he said, “None,” Johnson wrote. “$1,000 would be a lifesaver.” George W. Wolf wrote. “Two counties hold fate…Hard battle.” None.

Johnson’s decision to cut off some candidates was not due to the lack of funds.

And that brings us to the special election in SC-1

I’ve already given my opinion on the disaster that Mark Sanford would be for the GOP if he wins the primary and especially if he wins the general. I’ve urged people to kick in for Bostic and as we’ve reached this election day an important event has taken place, or rather it hasn’t

There is hope in the Bostic camp that the candidate might get an endorsement from Sarah Palin, who in the past has been able to transform underdogs into winners, as when her 2010 support helped Nikki Haley become South Carolina’s governor. It was Haley’s choice of Tim Scott as this state’s first black Republican senator since Reconstruction that opened the congressional seat that Sanford and Bostic are now fighting for, and so it would in some sense be less than coincidental if the Palin lightning struck again here.

That hope has been in vain.

A Sarah Palin endorsement would have meant money, it would have meant volunteers and it would have given Bostic instant gravitas against Mark Sanford as no other endorsement could.

It hasn’t come.

I’ve already talked about Sarah Palin as a political venture capitalist

Sarah Palin is the perfect political capitalist, she has taken her political capital, invested it in the candidates of her choice and come out with even more. No amount of political snark or clever Conan skits will change that. The MSM can pretend her capital doesn’t exist, but you’d better believe Ted Cruz, Kelly Ayotte and dozens of members of the congress who received that capital when they needed it know it is there and when and if she needs to draw on that capital, I suspect they will remember it.

The essence of a smart political operator is to know when to spend said capital and when not to, when the expenditure will lead to success and when it is in vain. When such a move can lead to victory or when a defeat will be costly for the entire cause.

That she didn’t endorse in a state where she has endorsed before speaks volumes about this primary and none of it is good.

Stacy McCain is on the ground in South Carolina and his latest report says the following:

Speaking of Gentleman Journalists, National Review‘s Jim Geraghty recently paid a visit to Hilton Head:

As one Beaufort County resident put it to me, “I’m hearing folks say, ‘My pastor says I should vote for [Bostic]‘”

If the counsel of clergy is heeded, the headline on a Bostic victory will be Miracle Upset, but polls indicate that Christianity itself is now viewed as a liability by South Carolina Republicans, unless it is the cheap-grace gospel wherein Mark Sanford’s 2009 embarrassment is shrugged off as something inconsequential that only the Liberal Media Elite care about. There may still be Republicans who take “family values” seriously, but they are neither fashionable nor influential, and none of the Wizards and Gurus think that the anti-adultery vote will amount to a majority in today’s GOP runoff.

that’s depressing enough but his piece seems less about Bostic and more about a different subject:

Some of my blogger friends seem to have forgotten that it was Ali who, as a consultant to the campaign that elected Scott Brown to the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy, ensured that bloggers like myself, Da Tech Guy, Ace of Spades and Pamela Geller had prime seating at the victory party that January 2010 night in Boston. Pudding, anyone?

Is there a strain of Charles Johnson-ism in all this? Are there people trying to set themselves up as Supreme Arbiters of who is and is not acceptable inside the Big Tent? And, if so, why are they simultaneously indignant about having Ali Akbar work as a digital strategist, but blithely indifferent to having Mark Sanford become the “face” of the Republican Party?

Some would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

Stacy’s coverage has been first rate as usual, you should read it all but the tone of this post is a bad sign.

I hope I’m wrong, I hope that Curtis Bostic can make it over the finish line without Palin. I hope that South Carolina Republicans understand what is at stake here without the Governor having to persuade them. I’m happy to lend my voice as insignificant as it is in the cause for his election and ask every single voter in South Carolina’s 1st district to choose wisely.

I hope, but I also know in 1940 Francis T. Murphy lost by 44.7%, C. H. Armbruster lost by 21.4% and George W. Wolfe lost by 9.4% and remember the note next to each of those names placed there by an earlier political master in answer to their request for help.


Update: Bostic lost by 13.16% Palin choose wisely.

I received Robert Caro’s volume The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power as a gift late Friday night and finished reading it at noon on Sunday. the following is the review I have submitted to It has not yet appeared on their site: I reproduce it in its entirety here and will link it when it is up: Update: It’s up here.

Robert Caro’s 4th Volume on the life of Lyndon Johnson covering from 1958 to the transition in 1964 is yet another lesson concerning how political power is achieved and how it is applied.

Caro book is divided into five sections:

The first covers Johnson’s failed effort to obtain the presidential nomination in 1960. He focuses on strategic errors, in terms of solidifying support Johnson should have had without effort combined with a total misreading of the political gifts of JFK. While his inaction would seem strange for the man who said: “If you do everything you will win” it is clear from my reading of the volume that it was less a question of insecurity and fear as Caro suggests but of dedication to a strategic plan that was in fact based on an understandably flawed premise. The “inaction” was, in my opinion, simply Johnson using the disciple he thought necessary for his strategy to work. The story of the vice presidential offer to was particularly revealing and the handling of his train tour during the campaign was something I was totally ignorant of.

The second section concerning the vice presidency is the least exciting in that it concerns not Johnson’s power but his weakness and inability to use his considerable talents to change that state. We also get a solid look at JFK’s understanding of how who holds presidential power within the Executive Branch branch.

Sections 3 & 4 are very short, 30 and 49 pages respectively. They deal with the events of Dallas up to the end of the procession in DC. It chronicles the moment when the switch in Lyndon Johnson’s head turns from “off” to “on”. The transformation will be no surprise to anyone who read the previous books nor his willingness to use Jackie the blood still upon her dress to begin that consolidation. Excluded from this section are Johnson’s decisive actions to complete this consolidation among world leaders, and political leaders on the state and national level once back in DC. That is saved for the final section…

….Section 5 Where we see the difference between a romantic figure and a political master. We are taken back to his previous volume Master of the Senate where we see how a person who knows how to use power and understands how political power works operates. Most interesting to me is his forcing people like Hubert Humphrey to develop the skis that Johnson due to his new office can’t use in person. This was my favorite part of the story.

Several thoughts:

Caro is a master storyteller, The 600+ pages of this book turn as easily as Shelby Foote’s Civil War Trilogy did.

The meat of this book is the conflict between LBJ & RFK, it dominates the volume as the balance of power shifts between them.

I was taken aback by how Caro approached RFK’s anti-communism and dislike for the Soviet Block. It suggested a sympathy for the single most murderous ideology of the 20th century that is not inconsistent with 20th & 21st century liberalism.

Make sure you read the notes at the end of the book, they are filled with nuggets that should not be missed.

It seemed odd to me that Johnson would not give an opinion issue when JFK asked EXCEPT when Kennedy asked about passing a Civil Rights bill. That was totally inconsistent with everything that came before.

The single most important words of the book come on page 465. Russell played his cards till the end but he knew the game was lost before it even started because like his hero R. E. Lee he faced a foe who as Shelby Foote put it: “Knew how to whip him, and did.”

Finally there is one elephant in the room that needs to be addressed:

I took the liberty of reading the one star reviews. Most fault Caro for not linking Johnson to the assassination of Kennedy. Although Caro states emphatically he is aware of no evidence to support any such linkage to the crime, it is impossible to ignore the level of coincidence here. For thousands of pages every bit of Lyndon Johnson’s life is directed toward a single ultimate goal. Caro writes the day of the assassination Johnson’s world is about to crumble. The upcoming Life magazine stories on his wealth, the congressional testimony on the Baker case and the realization by the Kennedy campaign that he was no longer needed in 1964 combined with RFK’s ambitions suggest LBJ unquestionably was in fear for his political life.

Yet with two bullets his problems either disappear outright or he suddenly has the power to make them disappear.

Johnson’s actions in the car to the airport certainly seem exculpatory and I’m certainly not going to accuse LBJ of complicity in a murder and coup nor re-write history based on coincidence, but one can not have read the previous nearly 3000 pages to the moment of crisis and not reflexively suspect Johnson of complicity due to his unwillingness to leave anything to chance and the principle of Cui Bono, even if such suspicion comes only for a moment and leaves just as fast.

This book like the volumes that preceded is simply spectacular even as a stand alone volume. It is informative, entertaining and applicable to the political situation that exists today. You should buy it.

I hope that Mr. Caro lives to complete the final volume and I look forward to reading it when he does.

This book is worth your money PERIOD!

…at least that what it sounded like to me.

On Morning Joe he and Joe Scarborough were talking the political landscape and Morial started talking about “voter suppression”.

Never mind that my Bank that I visit several times a week in person requred ID for withdrawals. Never mind that my local Comcast office where I pay my bill requires me to show a picture ID when I pay with my credit card. Never mind that this Friday past, I had to show a photo ID to make an $8 purchase at Market Basket in Fitchburg

Joe Scarbrough who often drives me up the wall wasn’t going to let him get away with this and began questioning him on voter id laws. Scarborough questioned him as Mika Brzezinski (wisely) remained silent as the Morial’s argument went from place to place until he retreated finally to “motivation”.

Yes you heard that right he made the argument that showing ID to vote laws should be opposed because of the “motivation” of those who support those laws.

Ok Mr. Morial, let me refer you to a book I quote often. Robert Caro’s Master of the Senate, the third volume in his series The Years of Lyndon Johnson.

The book tells the story of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the very first Civil Rights act to pass in decades. It tells how Lyndon Johnson skillfully navigated the waters to get a bill that would not be filibustered by the Southern Caucus through the house while thwarting GOP efforts to make it stronger.

But the most important aspect of the Civil Rights bill of 1957 for Lyndon Johnson was that HE would get credit for its passing.

The failed presidential bid of Richard Russell in 1952 convinced both Johnson and Russell his patron that no Southerner could be elected president until they were “made clean” on Civil Rights. Russell was clearly the most qualified and most respected Democratic Candidate in 1952 but in state after state he was told privately by party members that they could not support a southerner (Russell for all his virtues and he had many, was an arch segregationist who opposed military integration and whose opinion of the races were frankly startling). Russell dreamed of seeing a southerner in the White house and was determined to give Lyndon the chance he did not have.

Lyndon Johnson ambitions had always been toward the white house. Once he was convinced that support for civil rights was a sine-qua-non for him to become a credible candidate for the White House Lyndon Johnson was determined to be not only the supporter of a Civil Rights bill in the Senate but he would be the pilot steering such a bill through every shoal so that the final bill came to port it would be flying the flag of Lyndon Baines Johnson. The story of his success in this seemingly impossible goal is a tale of watching a political master at his finest.

His entire motivation being the goal of electing Lyndon Johnson president of the United States. Nobody reading this history can doubt this for a moment.

So under Mark Morial’s argument that he made on Morning Joe today, the voting rights act of 1957 should not have been supported because the motivation of the person responsible for its passage was his own political power.

I can imagine Mark Morial of the Urban league now in 1957: “I’d like to know why Lyndon Johnson is supporting this NOW?”, “What is the motivation for Lyndon Johnson supporting a civil rights law in 1957 when he has not supported such laws before?”

When you have no credible arguments this is what you are reduced to.

Back in the days when Lyndon Johnson was a congressional aide rather than a congressman or senator he participated in a group known as the Little Congress. This was an association of congressional aides formed to promote public speaking but in 1933 recognizing the potential for publicity and power that the organization had Johnson arranged without warning to bring in many additional voters of dubious eligibility and managed to win election as the speaker. He ruled over the little congress as speaker and then as boss until eventually a young man from Mississippi decided he was not going to go along with Boss Johnson.

In the 1935 elections for the little congress he managed to rally enough members to pass reforms (strenuously opposed by Johnson men) requiring people to sign ballots and to check them against the voter rolls. This of course eliminated the secret ballot, a sacrosanct right among voters but it turned out that once the ballots were properly checked against lists The Johnson candidate was defeated.

Lyndon being Lyndon instantly decided that the Little Congress was not worth his time he abandoned it and shortly thereafter the informal voting methods returned because the cause that prompted the draconian measures was gone. (this information is from The Years of Lyndon Johnson The Path to Power by Robert Caro)

Which brings us to the TSA.

A lot of people are objecting on the basis of decency and the 4th amendment. I disagree with the 4th argument since all passengers are subjected to the same methods thus not constituting an unreasonable search, but this debate is not the point.

The point is that the only reason why these methods are necessary is because The Flemish Menace a group of Islamic fanatics have declared war on the west and are attempting to kill us.

Our unwillingness to face and waste resources on people not remotely connected to terror would be as if the FBI decided to concentrate an equal percentage of resources examining the black community in Mississippi when investigating the murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner in 1964.

The day we face that threat and acknowledge and act accordingly is the day that intrusive searches and pat downs will be unnecessary because we will be examining the actual people who have a motive to strike at us.

Of course the administration being the administration we are not only not doing it, but apparently considering the exact opposite.

Hey we elected this government, we did this to ourselves.

In 1941 Governor Lee “Pappy” McDaniel ran in a special election for an open Senate seat created by the death of Senator John Sheppard (an interesting fact is that a son of Sam Houston the 1st president of Texas born in 1793 was appointed as a “placeholder” senator during the time between the death and the election). His primary opponent was Lyndon Johnson then a congressman from the 10th district. The two primary candidates fought it out and both were involved in some underhanded tactics however at the end of the day it looked like Johnson had the game won until (According to Robert Caro in his book The Years of Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power) O’Daniel’s enemies contrived to steal the election FOR him to get him out of the governors office.

It turned out that Pappy although corrupt had one “virtue” and that was dislike for alcohol. Convinced it was the devil’s brew he was prepared to keep “dry” zones around military bases and his foes in the liquor industry wanted him out.

I thought of Pappy O’Daniel when I read this surprising quote from Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Fidel Castro:

Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the “unique” history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.

It was quite a shock to hear one of the monsters of the 20th century excoriating a modern monster for antisemitism and going on about the long history of Jewish suffering, that’s when I remembered Pappy.

Pappy was an opponent of the dangers of drinking, but it didn’t make him any less a corrupt pol.

Castro if this interview is to be believed believes that antisemitism is a centuries long disgrace and that Israel has a right to exist, that doesn’t make him any less of a murderous thug. I’m not going to fall for his pap any more that the Babliu blog guys will.

As the Doctor once told Margaret the Slitheen it doesn’t matter, you can oppress millions because every now and again you can speak up against an injustice that has nothing to do with you.

memeorandum thread here

My review of the 3rd volume of Robert Caro’s magnum opus The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate, is available at here.

Whatever you might think of Johnson as a man or of his positions, he was a master legislator , a man who could not only get things done but could understand the ins and outs of HOW things got done. Times have changed but Men have not, so if you want to understand how laws become laws this book should be read.