Yeah, though I do think we’re seeing some real growing anger about it. Biden is still refusing to call for a ceasefire, but the fact that they did not entirely block the UN resolution shows that it’s having an impact.
Hasn’t this been attributed to a mistranslation from the original Hebrew?
I haven’t checked personally if this is the case - I do not speak Hebrew. But if it is, this line is problematic. As for the one you guys already mentioned:
Ok, she is sticking to clear facts here - the numbers are not separated out. But it would be equally a fact to write “the vast majority of those being civilians, which are seen as collateral damage by the Israeli government”.
But no surprise. Hamas are terrorists, and accordingly they don’t give a shit about the “collateral damage” of their actions. Read: the death of thousands of innocents.
I really do not think they assume otherwise. Hamas plays the public opinion. And it works.
This situation still could spin out of control, and if it does it is Hamas which needs to take the blame. If Iran attacks directly, not by proxy, we are in deep shit. If Israel really uses atomic weapons, we are in the deepest shit.
And if Israel continues displacing, starving, and slaughtering thousands upon thousands of (needless to say, innocent) civilans? (Which I guess for you is not a situation that’s already spun out of control?) When does Israel finally “need to take the blame”?
Nonetheless, they were not wrong about the status quo prior to Oct. 7th. Do you really think that the situation that all Palestinians (not HAMAS, BUT ALL PALESTINIANS), was humane or tolerable for anyone? The past decade the government of Israel has shown a complete lack of interesting in coming to a settlement with the Palestinians. The current government doesn’t give two shits about Palestinians. Land continues to be taken in the West Bank and Gaza continues to be an open air prison. And that was only going to get worse. Hamas KNEW that they were going to use this as a means of ethnically cleansing Gaza and furthering that in the West Bank, too. The fact that they seemed to have been correct isn’t quite the vindication for Israel that you seem to think. The fact that they are cracking down on people in Israel demanding a ceasefire and to an negotiation for the hostages shows that they don’t care about democracy or peace. They are catering to their far right constituency which doesn’t help anyone, whatever their nationality. Netanyahu, likud and the parties further to the right are hellbent on pushing out ALL people who are Palestinians and taking over all the land that they consider their “right” because “god” said so… It’s just as much bullshit as Hamas’ position, and they have a powerful set of tools for making it a reality - a powerful military and the backing of the most powerful military in the world. Hamas has literally no real support from their own people and even Iran is not going to join in fully to back their actions here.
Do you really think that they are the only ones responsible for the death of innocents? The IDF most certainly bears responsibility for the civilian’s deaths in Gaza and in the West Bank.
how many dead children do you need to see for your to accept that it already has? They are now planning an invasion force further south, especially since their “discovery” of "hamas tunnels at al-Shifia has proven to be BS… It’s collective punishment that will only further radicalize people. They could have made a different choice, but they decided to go for all-out war. They bear responsibility for that.
Or IOF, as I put it – Israel Offense Forces
It does seem more appropriate, given their history of striking first in a number of situations…
Because we all know wars are situations where only one side ever deserves blame, and the main reason to care about whole families being massacred is that someone might fault the country that has been killing them for it.
November 18, 2023 (Saturday)
I didn’t see much of the Fall in Maine this year because I’ve been seeing so much else of the country, but my friend Peter sent this image of last month’s Hunter Moon to bring me a little bit of home.
Headed that direction myself in the morning.
Going to take the night off and rest up. I’ll see you tomorrow.
[Image “Hunter Moon” by Peter Ralston.]
Beau describes actions and options here:
November 19, 2023 (Sunday)
For three hot days, from July 1 to July 3, 1863, more than 150,000 soldiers from the armies of the United States of America and the Confederate States of America slashed at each other in the hills and through the fields around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
When the battered armies limped out of town after the brutal battle, they left scattered behind them more than seven thousand corpses in a town with fewer than 2,500 inhabitants. With the heat of a summer sun beating down, the townspeople had to get the dead soldiers into the ground as quickly as they possibly could, marking the hasty graves with nothing more than pencil on wooden boards.
A local lawyer, David Wills, who had huddled in his cellar with his family and their neighbors during the battle, called for the creation of a national cemetery in the town, where the bodies of the United States soldiers who had died in the battle could be interred with dignity. Officials agreed, and Wills and an organizing committee planned an elaborate dedication ceremony to be held a few weeks after workers began moving remains into the new national cemetery.
They invited state governors, members of Congress, and cabinet members to attend. To deliver the keynote address, they asked prominent orator Edward Everett, who wanted to do such extensive research into the battle that they had to move the ceremony to November 19, a later date than they had first contemplated.
And, almost as an afterthought, they asked President Abraham Lincoln to make a few appropriate remarks. While they probably thought he would not attend, or that if he came he would simply mouth a few platitudes and sit down, President Lincoln had something different in mind.
On November 19, 1863, about fifteen thousand people gathered in Gettysburg for the dedication ceremony. A program of music and prayers preceded Everett’s two-hour oration. Then, after another hymn, Lincoln stood up to speak. Packed in the midst of a sea of frock coats, he began. In his high-pitched voice, speaking slowly, he delivered a two-minute speech that redefined the nation.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” Lincoln began. While the southern enslavers who were making war on the United States had stood firm on the Constitution’s protection of property—including their enslaved Black neighbors—Lincoln dated the nation from the Declaration of Independence.
The men who wrote the Declaration considered the “truths” they listed “self-evident”: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But Lincoln had no such confidence. By his time, the idea that all men were created equal was a “proposition,” and Americans of his day were “engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
Standing near where so many men had died four months before, Lincoln honored “those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”
He noted that those “brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated” the ground “far above our poor power to add or detract.”
“It is for us the living,” Lincoln said, “to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” He urged the men and women in the audience to “take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion” and to vow that “these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
[Image of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, center-left, with his head tilted downward. Work is in the U.S. public domain, obtained here from Wikimedia Commons.]
How far the “Party of Lincoln” has fallen. I’m sure the GOP attacks on voting and democracy will continue as long as they continue to lose positions of power and influence.
The next day, Everett, the man who gave the two hour speech, wrote a short note to Lincoln. Among other things, he said, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” So even in the moment, people knew Lincoln had made a powerful speech. Lincoln, by the way, replied and had very kind words to say about Everett’s speech as well. I’ve never read that speech, and if it was two hours long, I don’t think I care to, but apparently it wasn’t awful.
November 20, 2023 (Monday)
Yesterday, David Roberts of the energy and politics newsletter Volts noted that a Washington Post article illustrated how right-wing extremism is accomplishing its goal of destroying faith in democracy. Examining how “in a swing Wisconsin county, everyone is tired of politics,” the article revealed how right-wing extremism has sucked up so much media oxygen that people have tuned out, making them unaware that Biden and the Democrats are doing their best to deliver precisely what those in the article claim to want: compromise, access to abortion, affordable health care, and gun safety.
One person interviewed said, “I can’t really speak to anything [Biden] has done because I’ve tuned it out, like a lot of people have. We’re so tired of the us-against-them politics.” Roberts points out that “both sides” are not extremists, but many Americans have no idea that the Democrats are actually trying to govern, including by reaching across the aisle. Roberts notes that the media focus on the right wing enables the right wing to define our politics. That, in turn, serves the radical right by destroying Americans’ faith in our democratic government.
Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele echoed that observation this morning when he wrote, “We need to stop the false equivalency BS between Biden and Trump. Only one acts with the intention to do real harm.”
Indeed, as David Kurtz of Talking Points Memo puts it, “the gathering storm of Trump 2.0 is upon us,” and Trump and his people are telling us exactly what a second Trump term would look like. Yesterday, Trump echoed his “vermin” post of the other day, saying: “2024 is our final battle. With you at my side, we will demolish the Deep State, we will expel the warmongers from our government, we will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, we will throw off the sick political class that hates our Country, we will rout the Fake News Media, we will evict Joe Biden from the White House, and we will FINISH THE JOB ONCE AND FOR ALL!”
Trump’s open swing toward authoritarianism should be disqualifying even for Republicans—can you imagine Ronald Reagan talking this way?—but MAGA Republicans are lining up behind him. Last week the Texas legislature passed a bill to seize immigration authority from the federal government in what is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, and yesterday, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that he was “proud to endorse” Trump for president because of his proposed border policies (which include the deportation of 10 million people).
House speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has also endorsed Trump, and on Friday he announced he was ordering the release of more than 40,000 hours of tapes from the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, answering the demands of far-right congress members who insist the tapes will prove there was no such attack despite the conclusion of the House committee investigating the attack that Trump criminally conspired to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and refused to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol.
Trump loyalist Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) promptly spread a debunked conspiracy theory that one of the attackers shown in the tapes, Kevin Lyons, was actually a law enforcement officer hiding a badge. Lyons—who was not, in fact, a police officer—was carrying a vape and a photo he stole from then–House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and is now serving a 51-month prison sentence. (Former representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeted: “Hey [Mike Lee]—heads up. A nutball conspiracy theorist appears to be posting from your account.”)
Both E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted yesterday that MAGA Republicans have no policies for addressing inflation or relations with China or gun safety; instead, they have coalesced only around the belief that officials in “the administrative state” thwarted Trump in his first term and that a second term will be about revenge on his enemies and smashing American liberalism.
MIke Davis, one of the men under consideration for attorney general, told a podcast host in September that he would “unleash hell on Washington, D.C.,” getting rid of career politicians, indicting President Joe Biden “and every other scumball, sleazeball Biden,” and helping pardon those found guilty of crimes associated with the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. “We’re gonna deport a lot of people, 10 million people and growing—anchor babies, their parents, their grandparents,” Davis said. “We’re gonna put kids in cages. It’s gonna be glorious. We’re gonna detain a lot of people in the D.C. gulag and Gitmo.”
In the Washington Post, Josh Dawsey talked to former Trump officials who do not believe Trump should be anywhere near the presidency, and yet they either fear for their safety if they oppose him or despair that nothing they say seems to matter. John F. Kelly, Trump’s longest-serving chief of staff, told Dawsey that it is beyond his comprehension that Trump has the support he does.
“I came out and told people the awful things he said about wounded soldiers, and it didn’t have half a day’s bounce. You had his attorney general Bill Barr come out, and not a half a day’s bounce. If anything, his numbers go up. It might even move the needle in the wrong direction. I think we’re in a dangerous zone in our country,” Kelly said.
Part of the attraction of right-wing figures is they offer easy solutions to the complicated issues of the modern world. Argentina has inflation over 140%, and 40% of its people live in poverty. Yesterday, voters elected as president far-right libertarian Javier Milei, who is known as “El Loco” (The Madman). Milei wants to legalize the sale of organs, denies climate change, and wielded a chainsaw on the campaign trail to show he would cut down the state and “exterminate” inflation. Both Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, two far-right former presidents who launched attacks against their own governments, congratulated him.
In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower took on the question of authoritarianism. Robert J. Biggs, a terminally ill World War II veteran, wrote to Eisenhower, asking him to cut through the confusion of the postwar years. “We wait for someone to speak for us and back him completely if the statement is made in truth,” Biggs wrote. Eisenhower responded at length. While unity was imperative in the military, he said, “in a democracy debate is the breath of life. This is to me what Lincoln meant by government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people.’”
Dictators, Eisenhower wrote, “make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems—freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.”
Once again, liberal democracy is under attack, but it is notable—to me, anyway, as I watch to see how the public conversation is changing—that more and more people are stepping up to defend it. In the New York Times today, legal scholar Cass Sunstein warned that “[o]n the left, some people insist that liberalism is exhausted and dying, and unable to handle the problems posed by entrenched inequalities, corporate power and environmental degradation. On the right, some people think that liberalism is responsible for the collapse of traditional values, rampant criminality, disrespect for authority and widespread immorality.”
Sunstein went on to defend liberalism in a 34-point description, but his first point was the most important: “Liberals believe in six things,” he wrote: “freedom, human rights, pluralism, security, the rule of law and democracy,” including fact-based debate and accountability of elected officials to the people.
Finally, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who was a staunch advocate for the health and empowerment of marginalized people—and who embodied the principles Sunstein listed, though that’s not why I’m mentioning her—died yesterday at 96. “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement.
More to the point, perhaps, considering the Carters’ profound humanity, is that when journalist Katie Couric once asked President Carter whether winning a Nobel Peace Prize or being elected president of the United States was the most exciting thing that ever happened to him, Carter answered: “When Rosalynn said she’d marry me—I think that’s the most exciting thing.”
November 21, 2023 (Tuesday)
Yesterday the United Auto Workers ratified their new contracts with General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. The new contracts include wage increases of at least 25% over the next 4.5 years, cost of living increases, union coverage for electric battery plants, and the reopening of a closed plant. “These were just extraordinary wins, especially for those of us who’ve been studying strikes for decades,” Washington University labor expert Jake Rosenfeld told Jeanne Whalen of the Washington Post.
Union president Shawn Fain told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, “It’s a sign of the times…. In the last 40 years…working class people went backwards continually…. There’s this massive chasm between the billionaire class and the working class and…when those things get out of balance, we need to turn it upside down. When 26 billionaires have as much wealth as half of humanity, that’s a crisis….”
Fain said the automakers strike was “just the beginning…. Now, we take our strike muscle and our fighting spirit to the rest of the industries we represent, and to millions of nonunion workers ready to stand up and fight for a better way of life.”
President Joe Biden, who stood on the picket line with UAW members, congratulated both the auto workers and the companies for their good faith negotiations. “[W]hen unions do well, it lifts all workers,” he said. In the wake of the agreements between the UAW and the Big Three automakers, nonunion automakers who are eager to prevent unionization, including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and Subaru, also announced wage increases.
Following a tradition normalized in the 1980s, Biden also pardoned the turkeys Liberty and Bell yesterday, marking the unofficial start of the holiday season. The birds will move to the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences where they will become educational ambassadors for a state where turkey production provides more than $1 billion in economic activity and more than 26,000 jobs.
At the ceremony, Biden urged people to “give thanks for the gift that is our nation.” He offered special thanks to service members, with whom he and First Lady Jill Biden shared a Friendsgiving meal on Sunday.
Falling prices for travel and for the foods usually on a Thanksgiving table are news the White House is celebrating. Gas prices have dropped an average of $1.70 from their peak, airfares are down 13%, and car rental prices are down about 10% over the past year.
According to the American Farm Bureau, the price of an average Thanksgiving dinner has dropped by 4.5%. The cost of turkeys has dropped more than 5% from last year, when an avian flu epidemic meant nearly 58 million birds were slaughtered (this year, growers have lost about 4.6 million birds to the same cause). Whipping cream, cranberries, and pie crust have also dropped in price.
But plenty of grocery prices are still rising, and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has taken on the issue, documenting how “corporations are making record profits on the backs of American families.” In a public report, Casey noted that from July 2020 through July 2022, inflation rose by 14%, but corporate profits rose by 75%, five times as fast. A family making $68,000 a year in 2022 paid $6,740 in that period to “corporate executives and wealthy shareholders.” In 2023, that amount will be at least $3,546.
The report notes that the cost for chicken went up 20% in 2021 as Tyson Foods doubled their profits from the first quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022; Tyson has been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and restitution for “illegally conspiring to inflate chicken prices.” PepsiCo’s chief financial officer said in April 2023 that even though inflation was dropping, their prices would not. He said “consumers generally look at our products and say ‘you know what—they are worth paying a little bit more for.’”
President Biden has launched a campaign to push back on corporate profiteering, including cracking down on the practice of so-called junk fees—unexpected hidden costs for air travel, car rentals, credit cards, cable television, ticket sales, and so on. (The airline industry collected more than $6.7 billion last year in baggage fees, for example.)
But Tony Romm of the Washington Post explained on Sunday that corporate lobbyists are warring with the Biden administration to stop the crackdown. An airline lobbyist testified at a federal hearing in March that changing the policy would create “confusion and frustration” and that there have been “very few complaints” about the extra costs for bags. The same lobbying group told the Department of Transportation that the government had no data to “demonstrate substantial harm” to passengers. A lobbying group for advertising platforms including Facebook and Google agreed that the Federal Trade Commission had failed to present “sufficient empirical evidence” that junk fees are a problem.
Much of the fight over the relative power of ordinary Americans and corporations will play out in the courts. Those courts are themselves struggling over the role of money in their deliberations. After scandals in which it has become clear that Supreme Court justices—primarily Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, but a real estate deal of Neil Gorsuch’s has also been questioned—have accepted gifts from exceedingly wealthy Republican donors, the court on November 13 finally issued its own ethics guidelines.
That code of conduct echoes the obligations of judges in the rest of the U.S. court system, but it takes away the requirements for behavior imposed on the lower courts, and—crucially—it has no methods of enforcement. Legal analyst Dahlia Lithwick noted that the code appeared to be designed to assure the American people they were confused about the need for an ethics code. It appeared, Lithwick said, to be “principally drafted with the intention of instructing us that they still can’t be made to do anything.”
The Supreme Court has been packed with lawyers from the Federalist Society, established in the 1980s to push back on what its members believed was the judicial activism of federal judges who used the Fourteenth Amendment to defend civil rights in the states. Federalist Society lawyers were key to creating legal excuses for Trump to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election, and yet the society has never addressed how their people have turned into such extremists.
In the New York Times today, leading former Federalist Society lawyer George Conway, former judge J. Michael Luttig, and former representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA) called out both the Federalist Society for failing to respond to the crisis Trump represents, and “the growing crowd of grifters, frauds and con men willing to subvert the Constitution and long-established constitutional principles for the whims of political expediency.”
They announced a new organization to replace the corrupted Federalist Society, a significant move considering how entrenched that society has become in our justice system. The Society for the Rule of Law Institute, made up of conservative lawyers, will be “committed to the foundational constitutional principles we once all agreed upon: the primacy of American democracy, the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law, the independence of the courts, the inviolability of elections and mutual support among those tasked with the solemn responsibility of enforcing the laws of the United States.” The authors say that the new organization will provide a conservative voice for democracy and that they hope to work with much more deeply established progressive voices.
For now, the Biden administration continues to try to rebalance the economic playing field. Today the Treasury Department announced the largest settlements in history for violations of U.S. anti–money laundering laws and sanctions. Cryptocurrency giant Binance, which handles about 60% of the world’s virtual currency trading, settled over violations in transactions that laundered money for terrorists—including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, and ISIS—and other criminals, and violating sanctions, including those against Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the occupied Crimean region of Ukraine.
Binance will pay more than $4 billion in fines and penalties.
At the same time, the Justice Department obtained a guilty plea from Binance chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao, a Canadian national, for failing to maintain an effective anti–money laundering program. Zhao amassed more than $23 billion at the head of the company; he will pay $200 million in fines and step down. He could face as much as 10 years in prison, but his sentence will likely be less than 18 months.
U.S. officials say this is the biggest-ever corporate resolution that includes criminal charges for an executive.
November 22, 2023 (Wednesday)
“It all began so beautifully,” Lady Bird remembered. “After a drizzle in the morning, the sun came out bright and beautiful. We were going into Dallas.”
It was November 22, 1963, and President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy were visiting Texas. They were there, in the home state of Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, to try to heal a rift in the Democratic Party. The white supremacists who made up the base of the southern wing of the party loathed the Kennedy administration’s support for Black rights.
That base had turned on Kennedy when he and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, had backed the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in fall 1962 saying that army veteran James Meredith had the right to enroll at the University of Mississippi, more commonly known as Ole Miss.
When the Department of Justice ordered officials at Ole Miss to register Meredith, Mississippi governor Ross Barnett physically barred Meredith from entering the building and vowed to defend segregation and states’ rights.
So the Department of Justice detailed dozens of U.S. marshals to escort Meredith to the registrar and put more than 500 law enforcement officers on the campus. White supremacists rushed to meet them there and became increasingly violent. That night, Barnett told a radio audience: “We will never surrender!” The rioters destroyed property and, under cover of the darkness, fired at reporters and the federal marshals. They killed two men and wounded many others.
The riot ended when the president sent 20,000 troops to the campus. On October 1, Meredith became the first Black American to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
The Kennedys had made it clear that the federal government would stand behind civil rights, and white supremacists joined right-wing Republicans in insisting that their stance proved that the Kennedys were communists. Using a strong federal government to regulate business meant preventing a man from making all the money he could; protecting civil rights would take tax dollars from white Americans for the benefit of Black and Brown people. A bumper sticker produced during the Mississippi crisis warned that “the Castro Brothers”—equating the Kennedys with communist revolutionaries in Cuba—had gone to Ole Miss.
That conflation of Black rights and communism stoked such anger in the southern right wing that Kennedy felt obliged to travel to Dallas to try to mend some fences in the state Democratic Party.
On the morning of November 22, 1963, the Dallas Morning News contained a flyer saying the president was wanted for “treason” for “betraying the Constitution” and giving “support and encouragement to the Communist inspired racial riots.” Kennedy warned his wife that they were “heading into nut country today.”
But the motorcade through Dallas started out in a party atmosphere. At the head of the procession, the president and first lady waved from their car at the streets “lined with people—lots and lots of people—the children all smiling, placards, confetti, people waving from windows,” Lady Bird remembered. “There had been such a gala air,” she said, that when she heard three shots, “I thought it must be firecrackers or some sort of celebration.”
The Secret Service agents had no such moment of confusion. The cars sped forward, “terrifically fast—faster and faster,” according to Lady Bird, until they arrived at a hospital, which made Mrs. Johnson realize what had happened. “As we ground to a halt” and Secret Service agents began to pull them out of the cars, Lady Bird wrote, “I cast one last look over my shoulder and saw in the President’s car a bundle of pink, just like a drift of blossoms, lying on the back seat…Mrs. Kennedy lying over the President’s body.”
As they waited for news of the president, LBJ asked Lady Bird to go find Mrs. Kennedy. Lady Bird recalled that Secret Service agents “began to lead me up one corridor, back stairs, and down another. Suddenly, I found myself face to face with Jackie in a small hall…outside the operating room. You always think of her—or someone like her—as being insulated, protected; she was quite alone. I don’t think I ever saw anyone so much alone in my life.”
After trying to comfort Mrs. Kennedy, Lady Bird went back to the room where her own husband was. It was there that Kennedy’s special assistant told them, “The President is dead,” just before journalist Malcolm Kilduff entered and addressed LBJ as “Mr. President.”
Officials wanted LBJ out of Dallas as quickly as possible and rushed the party to the airport. Looking out the car window, Lady Bird saw a flag already at half mast and later recalled, “[T]hat is when the enormity of what had happened first struck me.”
In the confusion—in addition to the murder of the president, no one knew how extensive the plot against the government was—the attorney general wanted LBJ sworn into office as quickly as possible. Already on the plane to return to Washington, D.C., the party waited for Judge Sarah Hughes, a Dallas federal judge. By the time Hughes arrived, so had Mrs. Kennedy and the coffin bearing her husband’s body. “[A]nd there in the very narrow confines of the plane—with Jackie on his left with her hair falling in her face, but very composed, and me on his right, Judge Hughes, with the Bible, in front of him and a cluster of Secret Service people and Congressmen we had known for a long time around him—Lyndon took the oath of office,” Lady Bird recalled.
As the plane traveled to Washington, D.C., Lady Bird went into the private presidential cabin to see Mrs. Kennedy, passing President Kennedy’s casket in the hallway.
Lady Bird later recalled: “I looked at her. Mrs. Kennedy’s dress was stained with blood. One leg was almost entirely covered with it and her right glove was caked…with blood—her husband’s blood. She always wore gloves like she was used to them. I never could. Somehow that was one of the most poignant sights—exquisitely dressed and caked in blood. I asked her if I couldn’t get someone in to help her change and she said, ‘Oh, no. Perhaps later…but not right now.’”
“And then,” Lady Bird remembered, “with something—if, with a person that gentle, that dignified, you can say had an element of fierceness, she said, ‘I want them to see what they have done to Jack.’”
It’s been 60 years… Jesus.
Those who work hard to oppress others and spread hate often use violence to achieve their goals. When people protest and take action to raise awareness or end inequality they call them communists, socialists, terrorists, etc. What hits me reading this is how far we still have to go. This is not enough:
They’ll keep coming back until we get to this…
i was a babe in mama’s arms when she took me to Love Field in Dallas to see the president and first lady get off the plane. that was it, we didn’t go to the parade.
she used this framing in her latest book too, and it’s so wild because i’ve never heard of the connection to desegregation before
here’s wikipedia’s full discussion of it in the assassination:
In 1963, Kennedy decided to travel to Texas to smooth over frictions in the state’s Democratic Party between liberal U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough and conservative Governor John Connally.
“frictions” - that’s it.
it’s like the conspiracy, the cia and communist plots, exist to eat up all the oxygen that could have been used talking about race. and maybe those “theories” are so popular precisely so white people can hide from all the rest. it’s more comfortable to talk about shadowy figures than racism
exactly like all the “lone wolves”, false flags, conspiracies, and “crisis actors” now
I asked my mom if she was there because they lived in Dallas but no… They didn’t let the kids in her school have the day off for it apparently.
Probably for the best.
My grandparents had a Deaf friend who was there and swore to the day he died that he saw something relevant and was a devoted conspiracy theorist ever after.