Where is that review of the book on Mark Felt?

June 4, 2012

“Deep Throat?”

I’m running desperately behind on the week. The review I promised would be up on June 1.  Perhaps later this afternoon.

My apologies.

Leak:  Why Mark Felt became Deep Throat, by Max Holland

(It’s got great stuff in it — buy it and read it while you wait!)

Check back, please

Also see:


June 17 in history: Watergate and Bunker Hill

June 17, 2010

I didn’t know the Associated Press shares its “This Day in History” feature on YouTube in video form.

Is there a really good way to use ‘today in history’ features in the classroom?


LeveeGate? KatrinaGate? Republicans arrested trying to bug Sen. Landreiu’s NOLA office

January 27, 2010

You don’t think it’s political?

Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise has links, summaries and good original reporting at her site.

Four men were arrested with a carload of electronic bugging gear, allegedly and apparently while trying to install bugs in the office of Louisiana’s U.S. Sen. Mary Landreiu.  One of the men arrested was James O’Keefe, the guy who posed as a pimp in a sting on the Washington offices of the ACORN low-income housing advocacy group.

Beyerstein has more details here, here, and here.  Astoundingly, the four men appear to have been working to plant bugs in a federally-owned building.  That will make it a federal crime, a felony.

Illegal spying on Democrats was big news in 1972no one believed anyone could stoop so low, however, and so the news went under-reported for months.

Today?  Everybody expects Republicans to play so dirty — and so the news goes under-reported.

Bookmark Beyerstein’s site.

In their attempt to turn back the clock on so many issues, have the Republicans resorted to the Dirty Tricks of the Nixon era, too?

More:


Domestic terrorist at the White House

December 16, 2008

Old joke said Nixon took crime off the streets, and put it into the White House.  It’s not really funny, though.  Read the story at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and more at Secular Right.

Where are those who worry about Bill Ayers when the terrorists actually show up at the White House?  Chuck Colson got a medal?

There’s an air of hypocrisy about the whole thing, and an air of sadness, and oddly, an air of fire and brimstone that makes Hugo Chavez look like a prophet.  Anything with anyone who makes Hugo Chavez look good is beyond funny.  Farce or tragedy, Madison worried, or maybe both;  in this case tragedy eclipses farce.

There were deserving medal winners, too.  Perhaps much good, with the bad. January 21, 2009, cannot come too soon.


Exciting times: House committee subpoenas

May 6, 2008

Living through the Watergate scandals and the Constitutional crises they produced — and spending part of that time in Washington, D.C., working for the Senate — I got a wonderful view of how constitutional government works, why it is important that good people step up to make it work, and a glimpse of what happens when good people lay back and let the hooligans run amock.

Over the last three months it occurs to me that we may be living in a similar time, when great but latent threats to our Constitution and the rule of law may be halted or rolled back by one John Dean-like character who will stand up before a group of elected officials, swear to tell the truth, and then, in fact, tell the whole truth.

Teachers, are you taking advantages of these lessons in civics that come into our newspapers every day?

We live in interesting times, exciting times — we live in educational times.

You should be clipping news stories on these events, and you should be using them in your classrooms today, and saving them for the fall elections, for the January inauguration, for the new Congress . . . and for your future classes.

What other opportunities for great civics lessons come to our doorsteps every day?


When things get tough, the patriotic listen to Barbara Jordan

August 2, 2007

Whose voice do you hear, really, when you read material that is supposed to be spoken by God? Morgan Freeman is a popular choice — he’s played God at least twice now, racing George Burns for the title of having played God most often in a movie. James Earl Jones?

Statue of Barbara Jordan at the Austin, Texas, Airport

For substance as well as tone, I nominate Barbara Jordan’s as the voice you should hear.

I’m not alone. Bill Moyers famously said:

When Max Sherman called me to tell me that Barbara was dying and wanted me to speak at this service, I had been reading a story in that morning’s New York Times about the discovery of forty billion new galaxies deep in the inner sanctum of the universe. Forty billion new galaxies to go with the ten billion we already knew about. As I put the phone down, I thought: it will take an infinite cosmic vista to accommodate a soul this great. The universe has been getting ready for her.

Now, at last, she has an amplifying system equal to that voice. As we gather in her memory, I can imagine the cadences of her eloquence echoing at the speed of light past orbiting planets and pulsars, past black holes and white dwarfs and hundreds of millions of sun-like stars, until the whole cosmic spectrum stretching out to the far fringes of space towards the very origins of time resonates to her presence.

Virgotext carried a series of posts earlier in the year, commemorating what would have been Jordan’s 71st birthday on February 21. (Virgotext also pointed me to the Moyers quote, above.)

Now, when the nation seriously ponders impeachment of a president, for the third time in just over a generation, Ms. Jordan’s words have more salience, urgency, and wisdom. It’s a good time to revisit Barbara Jordan’s wisdom, in the series of posts at Virgotext.

“There is no president of the United States that can veto that decision.”

“My faith in the Constitution is whole.”

“We know the nature of Impeachment. We’ve been talking about it a while now.”

“Indignation so great as to overgrow party interests.”

And finally:

The rest of the hearing remarks are all here. It’s a longer clip than the others but honestly, there is not a good place to cut it.

This is Barbara Jordan on the killing floor.

This was a woman who understands history, who illustrates time and again that we are, with every action, with every syllable, cutting the past away from the present.

She never mentions Nixon by name. There is the Constitution. There is the office of the Presidency. But Richard Nixon the president has already ceased to exist. By the time she finishes speaking, he is history.

“A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.”

Also see, and hear:

Virgotext’s collection of Barbara Jordan stories and quotes is an excellent source for students on Watergate, impeachment, great oratory, and Barbara Jordan herself. Bookmark that site.
Barbara Jordan, in a pensive moment, in a House Committee room


Eleanor McGovern

February 2, 2007

The past few weeks have been studded with the deaths of people important to my life, or important in history. The string is a long, unnecessary reminder that there are a lot of people holding history in their memories whom more historians need to get out and interview, even (and perhaps especially) high school-age historians.

Eleanor and George McGovern

Eleanor McGovern died in Mitchell, South Dakota, last week. I wonder how many of the town’s high school history teachers ever thought to invite the woman to speak?

McGovern was the probably the first spouse of a presidential candidate to campaign alone, without the candidate along. The respectful, rather long obituary in the Los Angeles Times made that a focus point of its tribute (free subscription will eventually be required). That was the place I first got the news of her death, while I participated in a Liberty Fund seminar in Pasadena, California, last week.

I was recruited to politics by a McGovernite in early 1972, in Utah. Over the next few months we saw Eleanor McGovern look cool, calm, intelligent and charming in her husband’s losing campaign. She may not always have been so cool as we saw — the Times piece mentions she was nearly ill before the first-ever Sunday interview program solo appearance by a candidate’s wife.

That she was both pretty and smart probably scared the opposition more than anything she ever said. Read the rest of this entry »


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