June 6, 2013

Happy Thurs. Cooler here after some much needed rain, which mercifully knocked down a lot of tree pollen.

Yokelly we watched a good History Channel documentary on President Kennedy and followed it up with a good PBS documentary on LBJ. Kennedy was on a cocktail of drugs throughout his presidency, including speed. Those close to him said he was very sharp when dealing with the Cuban missile crisis, but there were times when he was zoned out. LBJ became president when Kennedy was shot. Johnson and Bobby Kennedy hated each other, which caused some problems, but Johnson was a master at passing legislation, something the Kennedy administration had trouble with. Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Headstart, and much other legislation. Presidential scholars think Johnson would be considered one of the great presidents if he had not gotten the US mired in Vietnam.

On that one Johnson, a graduate of Southwest Texas Teachers College, trusted the Harvard grads he inherited from Kennedy and he trusted the generals. Defense Secretary McNamara famously told Johnson we could win the war in 2 ½ years, then told him later, after we had a couple hundred thousand soldiers in SE Asia, that we probably couldn’t win at all. Thanks a lot. Both documentaries are well worth watching. Lots of scenes of an earlier America. In one scene where Johnson has his feet on the desk in the oval office, you can see he had his shoes resoled, something everyone did when I was young, but few do now.

LBJ dvd

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