Did RFK steal it after autopsy?
This is by far the strangest thing you will read today. Or any day, probably. A new book claims that President John F. Kennedy’s brain disappeared after his autopsy—and his brother Robert may have stolen it. According to a new book, End of Days: The Assassination of John. F. Kennedy, Kennedy’s brain apparently wasn’t buried with him, and was instead placed in a stainless steel container with a screwtop lid. The container was reportedly stored in a file cabinet of the Secret Service (…ok) before being moved to the National Archives. In October 1966, it was allegedly discovered that brain and other autopsy materials were missing. An investigation by then-Attorney General Ramsey Clark failed to recover the brain (ever), but some suspected Robert F. Kennedy stole the locker. Conspiracy theorists, go!
The legacy of the 41st president is looking better than ever in an age when passion is trumping reason in politics, says Mark K. Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library.
Modern post-presidencies, it seems, are often designed around vindication or at least a conscious effort toward enhancing one’s legacy. Think of the disgraced Richard Nixon, rising like a phoenix out of Watergate-induced exile to become a foreign-policy sage for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Or the humbled Jimmy Carter channeling his prodigious energies into humanitarianism through his NGO, the Carter Center, and winning the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
An Alabama state legislator wants to castrate child molesters, a South Carolina mayor doesn’t care if you don’t like her anti-‘queer’ views, and Florida’s KKK fights a name change. Caitlin Dickson wraps up another week in fun from the fringe.
South Carolina Mayor Doesn’t Want Gay Marriage ‘Rammed Down My Throat’A North Carolina county official decided this week to accept marriage applications from same-sex couples, despite the state’s gay marriage ban, saying he didn’t find it fair to deny marriage licenses to “upstanding citizens.” The move, predictably, received mixed reactions, but it got Linda Oliver particularly riled up. “What’s it gonna take these queers to realize they don’t need a piece of paper,” the West Union, South Carolina, mayor wrote in a Facebook post that was not deleted quickly enough to avoid screenshots.
Hollywood's take on the Middle East wars has ranged from cerebral to resigned, but its latest is a classic triumphal war movie. Jamelle Bouie on whether it works.
There is a moment, during the post-film discussion, when Lone Survivor director Peter Berg says—with some exasperation—that “it’s notoriously difficult to make a war movie about the Middle East.”It’s not hard to understand why. As a genre, “war movies” focus on the heroism of soldiers and their exploits. For World War II, the war most filmed by American directors, this is an easy lift. After all, to most eyes, the Second World War is morally unambiguous, which allows audiences to fully root for the United States and its allies.
After a long fight, the conflicted governor relented, and ordered state officials to get ready for weddings starting this Monday. By Ben Jacobs.
Same-sex marriages will start to be performed in New Jersey on Monday and Chris Christie, the state’s Republican governor, isn’t standing in the way anymore.The New Jersey Supreme Court voted unanimously Friday afternoon to deny Christie’s attempt to block a lower-court decision allowing gay marriages to be performed in the Garden State starting next week. After the decision was released, Christie announced state agencies will start preparing to implement the ruling.
Rumor has it the president will pivot to immigration reform next. That’s a bad idea, writes David Frum—it’s a path littered with the same obstacles that nearly brought down Obamacare.
Overreach: nobody’s immune to it. Republicans overreached in the debt ceiling fight. Now, by some reports, President Obama is tempted to do the same.Those reports state that Obama intends to proceed from the debt battle to the immigration issue, taking up again his plan to regularize the status of millions of people illegally present in the United States. Let’s leave aside for the moment the policy merits of the president’s immigration proposals.
Tom Foley will go down as the most bipartisan speaker of modern times. And he paid for it. Eleanor Clift on Foley’s legacy, and the wife who governed by his side.
There was a time when partisanship was kept in check and Congress could legislate.Former House Speaker Tom Foley loved to talk about those days and the institution that he loved. He had big Democratic majorities during the five and a half years he was speaker, from June 1989 to January 1995, and though there were danger signals, he had no inkling of what was coming when the Republicans won the House in ’94—and he became the first speaker since the Civil War to be defeated in his own district.
Fresh off a humiliating shutdown defeat, the Heritage chief says Americans didn’t really OK the Affordable Care Act—as though the 2012 elections never happened. By Jamelle Bouie.
This was supposed to be Jim DeMint’s moment. As head of the Heritage Foundation, chief sponsor of Heritage Action, and founder of the Senate Conservatives Fund, he had positioned himself as the Lex Luthor of American politics, a schemer who—with the help of like-minded ideologues like Texas Senator Ted Cruz—had whipped conservatives into a frenzy. With their control of the House of Representatives, and the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution, they would defund the Affordable Care Act, and land a mortal blow to the legacy of Barack Obama.
The government ground to a halt because extremists wanted Congress to perform miracles—and Mark Levin, who demanded that conservative Sen. Ron Johnson come up with a ‘strategy,’ is an excellent example, says talk radio personality Pete Dominick.
If you want to know what led to the government shutdown, all you need to do is listen to the argument between the popular conservative radio host Mark Levin and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Johnson, one of the most conservative senators in the country, was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Since the beginning of the shutdown crisis, I and many others have argued that the issue is between moderate and extreme Republicans, not Republicans and Democrats.
It’s not going gangbusters, but the Connecticut system hasn’t broken down yet amid headlines blasting the HealthCare.gov glitches nationwide, the state exchange’s CEO tells Daniel Gross.
At the national level, the rollout of Obamacare has gone poorly. The big federal health-care exchange, HealthCare.gov, is a poorly designed, badly functioning mess.But many states have embraced Obamacare as their own and have been working diligently on indigenous systems to enroll people through homegrown exchanges, either by enrolling them in Medicaid or helping them set up accounts to purchase health insurance. Kentucky has been an early, noteworthy, success.
Hint: It’s not because the White House is stupid. The top web strategist from Obama’s 2012 campaign tells Andrew Romano why the deck is stacked against government technology—and how we can fix our flawed system.
It was April 3, 2012, and Michael Slaby was pulling his second all-nighter in a row. As chief innovation and integration officer for President Obama’s reelection campaign, Slaby was overseeing the relaunch of BarackObama.com, which was scheduled to go live the following day. He and his team were scrambling.“We were breathing air into this thing to make sure it went up,” Slaby tells The Daily Beast. “And it ended up just being a stub site. It was really constricted and small.
A petty fight shaved $20 billion off GDP. Economists say a Washington that did nothing would be better than the unpredictable bunch that’s killing our recovery. By Kirsten Powers.
“Uncertainty is the enemy of our prosperity,” Mike Pence, then a Republican congressman from Indiana, warned in 2010. Back then, pleas for “economic certainty” were the Republican mantra as they fought Democratic attempts to return to Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthy. No more. Today, creating stomach-churning economic uncertainty is the GOP’s raison d’être. They were right the first time: Economic security and predictability are critical for economic growth.
A new Pew poll shows Tea Partiers’ devotion to the otherwise divisive senator. Can the Republican establishment stop him before it’s 2016? By Michael Tomasky.
Did you catch Ted Cruz’s numbers in that Pew poll that came out this week? You may not have, because there were a few other things going on. So take a guess as to his favorable ratings among Tea Party people. I can tell you that 18 percent expressed no opinion, so the numbers add up to 82. So, 65-17, 68-14? Could he possibly have topped 70?He sure could have. It was 74-8. Eight! It used to be 47-10 in a prior poll. In other words, a lot of people who weren’t able to form an opinion of him now can, and it’s swooning.
Two focus groups of American moms who shop at Walmart revealed deep, enduring pessimism about the state of American governance, and suggested Hillary might be the only one who could excite them again.
As the deal to restore funding to the government was coming together in Washington Wednesday evening, “Walmart Moms” were assembling—one group of 10 in Nashville, the other in Kansas City. Each participant had shopped in Walmart at least once in the last month, has a child under 18, and voted in the last election, roughly half for Obama, and half for Romney. Live streamed from their respective cities, they let us know in unvarnished terms what Middle America mothers think about Washington and it’s what you would expect.
The Senate minority leader’s deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling (plus a couple of dams for Kentucky) has his right flank howling. By Patricia Murphy.
Tea Party anger at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell raged from a simmer to a rolling boil Thursday as details emerged about his role to strike a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to end the government shutdown and temporarily raise the nation’s debt ceiling.McConnell had been noticeably absent from previous Senate fights this year as he geared up for a Tea Party challenge from Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin in 2014, followed by a likely general-election battle against the state’s well-funded Democratic secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Saturday was the deadline to fix the site. Did they do it, and if so, does it even matter? The Sunday talk shows look at the practical and political future of Obamacare.
A bipartisan proposal to trim the sequester and forbid shutdowns for the next two years means Washington may finally be ready to quit kneecapping growth.