Other Things That Could Have Been Different

While we’re on the subject of Dead Kennedys — whoa, that cleared the room! — the Washington Post adds to the link-baiting legend of Tricky Jack:

JFK’s own dirty trick

…In one of the least-known chapters of 20th-century political history, Kennedy operatives secretly paid off an informant and set in motion a Watergate-like burglary that sabotaged Nixon’s campaign on the eve of the election.

Political Sabotage! Wheeeeee!!! American Democracy is just a kick in the nuts, ain’t it?

How did JFK’s campaign obtain this incriminating evidence? By paying the contemporary equivalent of $100,000 to a Los Angeles accountant named Phillip Reiner, one of the Hughes middlemen used to conceal Nixon’s role in the deal… Soon after, a break-in occurred at the accountant’s old office…

Hughes? Howard Hughes? Of the Vegas Penthouse Foot-Long Fingernails Peeing in Bottles Hugheses? Hey, this is fun!

Days later, Kennedy was elected president by the narrowest margin in American history to that point. Nixon and his advisers blamed the Hughes scandal. Accurate or not, this perception haunted Nixon for the rest of his public life.

Bad Jack! Bad, naughty Jack!

Oh, wait:

The confidential documents revealed how Hughes had funneled to the Nixon family $205,000 (worth about $1.6 million today) using various intermediaries, including one of Nixon’s brothers, to disguise the transaction. Later evidence would show that the vice president had personally phoned Hughes to ask for the money, which was used to help Nixon pay for an elegant, 9,000-square-foot Tudor house in Washington with eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, a library, a butler’s pantry and a solarium.

So, um, let’s get this straight: Jack Kennedy stole the 1960 election by revealing the truth about Dick Nixon’s corruption. Granted, the evidence wasn’t gathered through proper channels — Hi, Bobby! — but the verdict of history is that it was a First-Rate Burglary.

JFK’s own dirty trick [WaPo, via Political Wire]

Eight bedrooms? Jack’s the guy who needed eight bedrooms to accomodate all the girls he was screwing.

This fits with the rest of modern conservatism’s redefinitions:

– “personal attack”: repeating what a conservative says

– “dirty trick”: pointing out corrupt conservatives

– “trick question”: anything that wasn’t on the list the conservative provided

– “fiscal irresponsibility”: spending any money at all on things conservatives don’t like

– “fiscal responsibility”: running up deficits to do things conservatives like

This should be a whole website…

I’m not surprised considering Hughes made bucket loads of moolah selling weapons thanks to Defense spending and fears of a Commie invasion which Nixon stoked plenty.

Among the weapons sold by Hughes included the worst Air to Air Missile ever made, the extremely complex, useless Hughes AIM-4 Falcon which apparently needed many many different different sensor and tracking inputs and cost $150k (at the time) and could not/did not shoot down a single airplane shot down five planes in combat despite several hundred firings. It was replaced in the USAF by the USN’s Sidewinder missile… which was made in a US government lab for a mere $5K a copy and had some 25 working parts (at the time.)

@ManchuCandidate: Are you a military history buff? I’ve pretty much focused on WWII. I knew a guy in high school who claimed to know everything about the US Civil War, but I could never get interested in it.

@ManchuCandidate: And the Spruce Goose was later purchased by McMinnville’s own Not-At-All-CIA-Connected Evergreen Aviation.

1) Wanted to be a military officer
2) Dad read a lot of it, I picked it up by osmosis
3) Wanted to be a writer… of techno thriller novels so I did my research… I could write (not great) and my slant was less than “rah rah US America” so I never got picked up despite the best efforts of my literary agent.

The stuff that interests me these days is the stuff related to the social and economic impact (I’ve read enough battle histories) as that stuff never really gets discussed.

Actually, I read about the Sidewinder for an engineering project management course. Its story upset a few of the “gubbiment stupid never done nutting right” Libertarian types though.

Shockingly, Hughes NEVER EVER had a hand in that…

Actually, it suddenly occurred to me… Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous speech about “Military Industrial Complex” makes a lot more sense now.

Perhaps the old guy knew about Nixon’s dirty dealings?

@ManchuCandidate: Ike sent federal troops to Little Rock. Imagine the teabagger reaction if Obama did that.

Bitchez, please. Mayor Richard J. Daley was the Kathleen Harris, Jeb Bush, and Sandy O’Connor of the 1960 election, all rolled up into one. Don’t mess with the legacy of the Machine.

@flippin eck: Many people think that Hizzoner stole the 1960 election for JFK. Chicago, where the dead come back to life on Election Day!

@IanJ: Federal holiday, nothing happening of note.

@nojo: Unrest in Tunisia that could bleed over to Egypt? The return of “Baby Doc” to Haiti after 25 years of exile?

What’s next, new music from 80s icons Duran Duran and 80s subversives Wire? Oh, wait…

@Nabisco: I don’t have a take on Tunisia or Baby Doc. Although regarding the former, self-immolation seems to have inspired similar attempts elsewhere.

But that’s another Sixties photo, isn’t it?

In a delightful “release-this-while-nobody’s-watching” moment, Gold Man-sacks decides US investors can’t buy Facebook shares.

From the article, it’s a ploy to avoid FB having to file SEC disclosures – maybe Rep. Issa can add that to his list of “regulations my slavemasters would like removed”.

@al2o3cr: I’m currently reading All the devils are here about Goldman and the other Masters of the Universe responsible for the financial crisis. Highly recommend, although it will cause blood pressure to rise. Greed is bad, very, very bad.

@al2o3cr: Right, a clue to their clients to get a post box overseas.

@al2o3cr: What’s really interesting is that institutional investors, including pensions, domestic and foreign governments, will continue to pile into the GS portfolios, even though their behavior is totally unethical and possibly criminal. They couldn’t sell that shit if there weren’t fools clamoring to go all-in. Jumpin’ FSM on a pogo stick.

It’s my recollection from reading various books on the 1960 campaign that O.G. bootlegger/inside trader/master of the casting couch Joseph P. Kennedy met with some of the “right people” who were able to swing an adequate number of votes in West Virginia and Chicago to pull it off for JFK.

I think that dude is the most interesting of the Kennedys. His life would make a hell of a movie.

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