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LBJ


  • Originally published 02/04/2014

    The LBJ Delusion

    Why Obama can't just have his way with Congress.

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    Michael Lind: A No-Lose Fix for the Voting Rights Act

    Michael Lind is the author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States and co-founder of the New America Foundation.By striking down Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and thereby gutting the act’s Section 5, the Supreme Court has presented defenders of voting rights in America with a challenge—and a historic opportunity. The challenge is the need to avert a new wave of state and local laws restricting voting rights in the aftermath of the Court’s decision. The opportunity is the chance that Congress now has to universalize Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, to make it apply to all 50 states.

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    LBJ Was a Great President

    LBJ in 1969. Credit: Wiki Commons.This quoting of the opinions of some famous people on the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson contains evaluations after his death in 1973 and my attempts at a scholarly evaluation twenty years later. Its purpose is to try to dilute the casual and even thoughtless remarks about this period of leadership that appear routinely (“Vietnam!”), and not too thoughtfully, in today’s lesser publications.

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Revisiting LBJ's Austin

    Long before Austin became a bustling hub of live music, technology and food trucks, it was a simple capital city, dominated by politicians and lobbyists. That city was the Austin of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s day. Though Johnson did not live in Austin for much of his life, the city made a mark on him from an early age. He was only 10 when he began accompanying his father, a state representative, to the Capitol, where he became enchanted with the legislative process.Johnson returned to the city frequently for the rest of his life, often for politics but also for refuge.“As soon as father landed in Austin, he began to feel relief,” said Luci Baines Johnson, 65, the president’s younger daughter. “Two days in the Hill Country did more for his soul than two weeks in the Caribbean would’ve done.”...

  • Originally published 03/17/2013

    Cartha D. DeLoach, No. 3 in the F.B.I., Is Dead at 92

    Cartha D. DeLoach, who as a top aide and confidant to J. Edgar Hoover was the F.B.I.’s liaison to the White House and a powerful intermediary between Hoover and President Lyndon B. Johnson during an especially tense political era, died on Wednesday on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 92.The death was confirmed by his son Tom.Mr. DeLoach, who was known as Deke, spent more than 25 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, rising to deputy associate director, the No. 3 position, behind only Mr. Hoover and the associate director, Clyde Tolson.

  • Originally published 03/16/2013

    LBJ: Nixon guilty of treason

    By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands".The BBC's former Washington correspondent Charles Wheeler learned of this in 1994 and conducted a series of interviews with key Johnson staff, such as defence secretary Clark Clifford, and national security adviser Walt Rostow.But by the time the tapes were declassified in 2008 all the main protagonists had died, including Wheeler.Now, for the first time, the whole story can be told.It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign….

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    LBJ love letters to Bird

    Newly released letters reveal the tender side of Lyndon Baines Johnson during the beginning of his relationship with Claudia Alta Taylor, the future ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson.

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Eight Things I Miss About the Cold War

    Credit: Wiki Commons.At a book festival in Los Angeles recently, some writers (myself included) were making the usual arguments about the problems with American politics in the 1950s -- until one panelist shocked the audience by declaring, “God, I miss the Cold War.” His grandmother, he said, had come to California from Oklahoma with a grade-school education, but found a job in an aerospace factory in L.A. during World War II, joined the union, got healthcare and retirement benefits, and prospered in the Cold War years. She ended up owning a house in the suburbs and sending her kids to UCLA.Several older people in the audience leaped to their feet shouting, “What about McCarthyism?”  “The bomb?” “Vietnam?” “Nixon?”

  • Originally published 06/25/2012

    HNN's History of Healthcare Reform

    Lyndon Johnson signing the Medicare bill, July 30, 1965. At left is former president Harry Truman. Credit: NARAA Century of American Healthcare ReformFor the first century of United States history, medical care was simple to access and relatively inexpensive. Services were, from a twenty-first century perspective, inadequate and primitive. Today the quality of care is far better, but Americans have to deal with a complex, confusing, and—by some standards—inefficient system, with terms like HMO, PPO, HSA, and FSA becoming household acronyms. Was it inevitable that the system become as convoluted as it is today, with health care costs passing 15% of GDP?1900-1920

  • Originally published 07/21/2010

    Robert Dallek: On Medicare’s Complicated Birth

    Robert Dallek, finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (HarperCollins 2007) and winner of the 1979 Bancroft Prize for Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945 (Oxford University Press 1980), is a professor of history at Stanford University.In 1965, after winning in a landslide against Barry Goldwater and helping to carry Democratic supermajorities into both houses of Congress, President Lyndon Johnson set out to enact a battery of Great Society reforms, including Medicare, government insurance for seniors. Despite his political mandate, 60 years of conservative opposition to such a measure meant proceeding with caution. Later, California Governor Ronald Reagan, for example, would characterize the Medicare bill as the advance wave of a socialism that would “invade every area of freedom in this country.” Reagan predicted that this reform would compel Americans to spend their “sunset years telling our children and our grandchildren what it was like in America when men were free.”

  • Originally published 01/24/2010

    "Hands off My Medicare": The Deadly Legacy of Social Insurance

    House and Senate Democrats hammering out the health care bills share the conviction that only those who pay into the insurance system are deserving of its benefits. This may be good politics, but it's bad public policy. And, while appealing to moderates in both parties, it's an assumption that's going to doom health care reform. This "social insurance" system is organized around regular contributions from wage earners. These contributions are then returned in the form of benefits (funeral expenses, pensions, unemployment insurance). It works, in other words, more like a toll road than a public right-of-way. The on-ramp to that toll road is a "covered job," the point at which revenues are collected and benefits are disbursed.

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