Tag Archives: JFK murder

How do foes become such good ‘friends’?

Politicians have this uncanny and maddening knack of burying the hatchet — and not in each others’ backs or skulls.

They campaign against each other, say some highly critical — even hurtful and hateful — things to and about each other. Then they declare winners and losers and all is forgiven. Ostensibly, at least.

They all do it. Democrats do it to each other, as do Republicans.

The latest example of this is in Texas, where GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is fighting for re-election to his seat against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

Cruz is enlisting the aid of a man he once labeled as “amoral,” a “pathological liar” and a “coward.”

Yes, I refer to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, against whom Cruz campaigned for the presidency in the 2016 GOP primary. You see, candidate Trump had called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” he implied that Cruz’s father might have been involved in President Kennedy’s murder and then he posted that hideous photo on Twitter of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

Cruz was rightfully enraged, outraged and aghast at the treatment. That’s when he hung those epithets on his GOP foe.

Now he’s wanting Trump to campaign for him. All is forgiven. The sniveling sucking up that Cruz is performing hasn’t gone unnoticed out here in the rest of the state and the nation.

Frankly, he was right to say what he said about Trump during the GOP primary campaign. He is demonstrating a lack of spine now as he seeks the president’s help in his fight for re-election.

Sickening, man.

25th Amendment: closer to being invoked?

If you thought a presidential impeachment made our stomachs churn while it was in progress, consider what reportedly has been discussed within the walls of the White House.

According to the anonymous op-ed published today in The New York Times, senior White House officials have discussed openly the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That’s the one that enables the “temporary” removal of the president who a majority of Cabinet members believe is unfit to carry out the duties of his office.

As the film director and political activist Rob Reiner noted via Twitter: Now we have it. From inside the Trump WH. Conservative Republican WH officials considered invoking 25th Amendment to remove the President from office. We’re a huge step closer to seeing this national nightmare come to an end. GOP electeds, handwriting is on the wall.

I’m not going to endorse the notion that we’re a “huge step” closer to seeing the amendment activated. Having endured a presidential impeachment, though, the idea of seeking to wrest the power away from this president gives me the serious heebie-jeebies.

The amendment was ratified in the 1967 after being proposed in 1965. It was drafted in reaction to the assassination of President Kennedy. It spells out the appointment of a vice president … as well as the removal of the current president.

The amendment sets a high bar for enactment. Most Cabinet members have to agree; so must two-thirds of both congressional chambers.

However, to think that a senior administration official has said out loud that others of his or her colleagues have discussed this option openly is a profoundly chilling notion.

It’s not that I would oppose it. It’s that it would constitute a political act none of us has any experience witnessing unfold in real time.

How does Cruz embrace Trump … and vice versa?

I cannot get past the news that Donald John Trump plans to stage a h-u-u-u-u-ge campaign rally on behalf of a guy he used to call Lyin’ Ted.

Trump says he is coming to Texas to campaign for Ted Cruz, the Republican U.S. senator who once challenged Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

The campaign got really nasty, man.

Trump hung the Lyin’ Ted nickname on Cruz. Then he insulted Heidi Cruz, the senator’s wife. Oh, and then the future president thought to link the senator’s father to possible complicity in President Kennedy’s murder.

The insult to Mrs. Cruz and the idiotic “fake news” lie about the elder Cruz was too much for the senator. He called Trump “amoral,” a “narcissist,” a “pathological liar” with no sense of decency.

Now he welcomes the president to Texas to campaign for him as he seeks to fend off a challenge from Democratic contender Beto O’Rourke?

Give me a break.

Trump already has tweeted disparaging comments about Cruz’s service to Texas in the Senate. Cruz’s statements about Trump stand on their own.

So these two men now intend to persuade us that all is well with them both? That they didn’t really mean all those nasty things they said about each other? That they have buried the hatchet … and not in each other’s back?

I still intend to be in the crowd at the Trump rally if it occurs anywhere near us in the Metroplex.

No, I won’t cheer the Liar in Chief.

Let’s end the argument: RFK’s killer is behind bars

My heart is still broken over the murder of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy 50 years ago today.

Accordingly, I continue to hold members of his family in my heart as they continue to grieve over his death while running for the presidency of the United States.

But … I want to end this discussion that Sirhan Sirhan did not act alone in the Los Angeles hotel kitchen that night. I want to end the myth that there was another shooter in the room.

As you might already know from the blog, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I have dismissed the notion that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald murdered Bobby Kennedy’s brother, the president, in Dallas on the bright, sunny November day in 1963.

None other than Robert Kennedy Jr., the third-eldest of Bobby and Ethel’s 11 children, believes Sirhan did not kill his father. I do not intend here to disrespect RFK Jr.’s belief in a second gunman, or that someone else fired those shots.

I wasn’t there when Bobby was mortally wounded; however, neither was his son.

I do know that Sirhan yelled, “Kennedy, you son of a bi***!” before firing a revolver into the back of the senator’s head. Sirhan, an immigrant from Jordan, hated Kennedy’s strong pro-Israel stance as attorney general and then as a U.S. senator. I also know that members of Kennedy’s entourage grappled immediately with Sirhan after he fired the shots. They wrenched the pistol from his hand; the bullets were spent.

Sirhan was effectively caught in the act of changing the course of U.S. political history.

He fired the shots that killed Robert Kennedy. He was sentenced initially to death; but then the Supreme Court struck down capital punishment, meaning that Sirhan would serve a life sentence in a California prison.

He did the crime. He will die behind bars. I continue to mourn the victim of his heinous act of violence.

Please, let us stop promulgating the myth that Sirhan didn’t do it.

Trump stokes the demagoguery machine at CPAC

Donald J. “Demagogue in Chief” Trump has fired ’em up at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

He has bellowed that if Democrats take control of Congress this year they are going to “take away your Second Amendment” rights to “keep and bear arms.”

Guns are on the top of people’s minds these days. A shooter went berserk in Parkland, Fla., killing 14 students and three educators in a killing spree that has thrown the nation into grief yet again.

So what does the president do? He goes to CPAC and sows terror in the hearts of the faithful. Democrats are going after the Second Amendment, he said.

I do not think that’s going to happen. History is an important guide here. Think about this for just a moment.

Democrats controlled the White House and Congress in 1964, a year after President Kennedy was murdered with a high-powered rifle in Dallas. Did they yank the Second Amendment away then? No.

Nor did they do so after President Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in 1981.

Democrats controlled Congress and the White House in 2009 and 2010. Congressional Democrats failed to reinstate the assault weapons ban.

Thus, Donald Trump is blowing it out his backside when he implies a repeal of the Second Amendment if Democrats take control of Congress. However, he had an audience that gave him lusty cheers when he tossed out that fiery rhetoric.

Are there ways to legislate some solutions to gun violence without taking away the Second Amendment? Yes. It just requires a concerted search for common ground to solve a quintessentially American crisis.

Demagoguery doesn’t cut it.

Evangelical infatuation with Trump still confuses

Someone has to explain something to me in simple language.

My question goes like this: How does Donald J. Trump continue to hold tightly onto support from the evangelical Christian community?

I ask because of a blog posted by R.G. Ratcliffe in Texas Monthly. Ratcliffe writes about a potential Republican challenger for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz next year from an evangelical TV network executive who is angry that Cruz didn’t endorse Trump at the 2016 Republican presidential nominating convention.

The challenge might come from Bruce K. Jacobson Jr., vice president for LIFE Outreach International and an aide to James Robison, a noted televangelist.

I do not get this! Honest! It confuses me in the extreme!

Christians line up behind Trump

The president of the United States would seem to be totally anathema to the evangelical movement, given the president’s past. He has bragged about his marital infidelity; he has admitted to groping women; he never has been associated with faith-based causes or associated openly with religious organizations.

Sen. Cruz has been much friendlier to evangelical causes than Trump ever had been prior to his becoming president. Jacobson, though, holds Cruz’s non-endorsement at the RNC in 2016 against him.

As Ratcliffe writes: Cruz had signed a pledge to support the party’s nominee, Jacobson said, but then didn’t follow through at the convention. “I’m concerned about anybody who doesn’t keep their word. I’ve very concerned about that. In Texas, when we give our word, it’s our word,” Jacobson said.

If memory serves, Cruz made that pledge early in the GOP presidential primary campaign, only to be humiliated personally by Trump’s insults and lies. Trump disparaged Cruz’s wife with a cruel tweet and then suggested the senator’s father was linked somehow to the assassination of President Kennedy. Cruz called Trump an “amoral” liar, which I also happen to believe he is.

Did the eventual Republican nominee conduct himself as a “good Christian” with that kind of behavior?

I don’t know about you, but I am not at all surprised — nor displeased — that Ted Cruz chose not to “endorse” Trump at the 2016 Republican convention.

So here we are. Cruz stood on a principle of fair treatment and for that he might get a Republican Party primary challenge from an evangelical Christian leader?

Explain it to me. Please.

How do you keep this event a secret?

I just took part in one of those goofy online “polls” that asked: Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President Kennedy?

I hit “yes.” Most of the respondents, more than 60 percent of them, said “no.”

This stuff makes me cringe. It makes me want to scream.

The conspiracy debate has been fired up yet again with the president’s decision to release nearly 3,000 pages of documents relating to the 20th century’s most heinous single crime. I keep circling back to a couple of key notions regarding the conspiracy idea that someone helped Oswald kill the 35th president of the United States.

One, how does one keep such a monumental event secret?

I have grappled with that one for decades. I am utterly baffled by the notion that someone or a group of people could hide their role in such a crime from anyone. These nutty ideas that they’ve all been killed just don’t add up. Why? Because someone did the killing. Who? How? Where?

Two, does anyone actually believe that a sharp-eyed journalist couldn’t or wouldn’t reveal to the world who did such a thing?

C’mon, folks! Those ding dongs who broke into the Watergate office complex in June 1972 were revealed in fairly short order to be working for a presidential re-election committee. We found a direct line to the truth in pretty quick order.

I’ll stipulate once again that I believe from the depths of my gut that Lee Harvey Oswald acted all by himself. No one saw this guy coming. JFK’s trip to Dallas in November 1963 had alarmed folks who were worried about an attack from the far right — the John Birchers, for instance — who were so highly critical of the president.  Oswald was a Marxist. He snuck in under everyone’s radar. Such things are possible, you know?

Dare I mention, oh, the attacks of 9/11? There, I just did.

I would ask that we cease and desist with this JFK conspiracy nonsense. Except that it won’t end. Not ever.

JFK conspiracy talk might fire up again

You may now consider me an official JFK anti-conspiracy believer.

Donald J. Trump has decided to allow the release of thousands of pages of FBI and CIA documents relating to the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas.

I’m glad the president has made this call. It should help dispel the loony conspiracy theories that have been kicked around since Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president to death and severely injured Texas Gov. John Connally.

The release should do this. It won’t. It is likely to fire up the goofballs.

For the record, here is what I believe.

I believe Oswald was able to sneak into the Book Depository Building. I also believe he was able to fire off three rounds at the president’s limo in the time investigators believe it took for the three rounds to inflict their deadly damage. I further believe Oswald acted alone.

I never have bought into the conspiracy lunacy. I never will.

Instead, I look at this event thusly: There is no way in the world to keep such a conspiracy a secret for 54 days, let alone 54 years. Does any serious person really believe an enterprising reporter couldn’t ferret out the truth to such a conspiracy if one really existed?

I am going endorse the theory posited years ago by the late Los Angeles County District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who wrote what I consider to be the definitive book on the Kennedy murder.

Bugliosi believes the reason the conspiracy theories likely will live forever is that Americans cannot believe a loser such as Oswald could pull off what some have called the Crime of the 20th Century.

I happen to believe that Oswald’s status as a chump loser makes him the perfect candidate to exact the demented form of vengeance he sought against the president or perhaps even Gov. Connally.

So, on Thursday the records will be released for public review. I welcome them. I want them to put to rest these idiotic notions about conspiracy, second gunmen, the Mob, the Soviet Union or the Cubans having some hand in this murder.

That’s my hope. My fear is that the conspiracy nut cases will fire up their nonsense yet again.

JFK murder myth will live forever

Maybe we can get to the bottom of Cruz-JFK ‘conspiracy’

One of the potential benefits of declassifying thousands of documents relating to President Kennedy’s assassination involves one of the many lies spouted by Donald John Trump during the 2016 Republican Party presidential primary.

You see, the man who would become president spewed out this hideous assertion that the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas — one of Trump’s primary opponents — might have had some kind of nefarious relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald, the guy who shot JFK to death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Trump said he read somewhere that Rafael Cruz met with Oswald prior to the murder, implying that the elder Cruz had might have been somehow, in some fashion complicit in the assassination.

The nonsensical implication has been widely debunked, but it gained a bit of traction among the more avid corps of Trumpkins who stand by their man — no matter what.

I’m not clear as to whether the president will release all the documents. My preference would be for him to do so. The public is ready to know the whole truth behind the hideous crime.

I also want to expose the president as the habitual liar and character assassin many of us already believe him to be.

Size may matter at the next inaugural

Size became something of a back-story issue during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Donald J. Trump boasted continually about the size of the crowds at his rallies. He compared them to those of his Republican Party primary rivals and then to those of Democratic Party nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And, oh yeah, size of an entirely different kind became a talking point during one of those endless GOP presidential debate with Trump and his horde of challengers. I won’t go any further with that one.

But, take a peek at the picture attached to this blog post.

It was taken on Jan. 20, 2009, when Barack H. Obama delivered his first inaugural speech in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The size of that crowd is now generally accepted as the largest assemblage ever for a presidential inaugural. The previous record crowd was thought to be at President Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural on Jan. 20, 1965.

LBJ had just been elected in his own right in a historic landslide and he — like Obama — took office amid a national mood of hope for a better day. Lord knows the country had gone through the tragic nightmare of a presidential assassination in November 1963.

My thought, then, is this: Will Donald Trump be able to boast about the size of the crowd that gathers before him in 14 days as he delivers his inaugural speech?

That ol’ trick knee of mine is telling me the Trump inaugural crowd is going to be, um, substantially smaller than the one pictured with his post.

And it well could speak volumes about the hope — or the lack of hope — much of the country will feel when the new president takes the oath of office.

But, hey. It’s only a crowd and in this context — in the world of Trump — size really doesn’t matter.

Or does it?