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Lyndon Johnson
  • Barack Obama's First 50 Days

    Barack Obama has hit the 50 day mark and motherfuck if that guy still hasn't made good on his promise to build every single American a house made out of fellatio.

    That bit of disappointment aside, Nate Silver looks at how his approval ratings so far match up with other presidents this far in…

    Wow, this is really telling. Only two slots below the great George W. Bush. That's pretty badass. On the other hand, he's just one slot above Ronald Regan. Yuck.

    Check out JFK all the way up top with a 73 percent approval rating. Now there was a guy who knew how to make a house out of fellatio.

    Delicious fellatio.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan
  • Countdown to Electiony: 43 Days

    On January 20th, 1961, at the age of 43, John F. Kennedy became the youngest person elected to the office of the American presidency. (Teddy Roosevelt was actually the youngest, at 42, but he had moved up in position from vice president after William McKinley's assassination.)

    Wait a minute! Kennedy was assassinated. And then he was succeeded by Lyndon Johnson. Who was from Texas. And a lot of people ride horses in Texas. And if you've never ridden a horse before, it's probably pretty difficult. Or "rough." Teddy Roosevelt was a member of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War.

    Oh my God!

    Teddy Roosevelt killed John Kennedy!

    It all makes sense now!

    Go back to Day 44.

    Tags: Election Countdown, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt
  • Tony Schwartz, Creator of LBJ's "Daisy" Ad, Dies

    We lost another giant of modern political discourse over the weekend.

    On Saturday, Tony Schwartz — the man who created Lyndon B. Johnson's infamous, pants-shittingly scary "Daisy" advertisement against Barry Goldwater — died at the age of 84 in his Manhattan home…

    "Media consultant" is barely adequate to describe Mr. Schwartz's portfolio. In a career of more than half a century, he was variously an art director; advertising executive; urban folklorist who captured the cacophony of New York streets on phonograph records; radio host; Broadway sound designer; college professor, media theorist and author who wrote books about the persuasive power of sound and image; and maker of commercials for products, candidates and causes.

    What was more, Mr. Schwartz, who had suffered from agoraphobia since the age of 13, accomplished most of these things entirely within his Manhattan home.

    If his vision of the world is anything like the one portrayed in this 1964 TV advertisement, it's no wonder he stayed in his apartment all the time. I'd never leave the closet.

    Our condolences go out to Mr. Schwartz' family.

    Tags: Barry Goldwater, Lyndon Johnson
  • You've Got Hollywood in My Politics: Helen Gahagan Douglas

    How much of a difference is there between show biz and politics? Not so much really. Both rely heavily on good bullsh*tting skills. Given that, it's no wonder that so many actors make the leap from movie life to public life. We'll take a look at some notable examples in our series.

    Beautiful young actress Helen Gahagan — despite much success in theater and opera — only managed one film after moving from New York to the mean streets of Hollywood: a 1935 B-budget sci-fi Mummy rip-off called She. Gahagan had the title role as She and got to say things like "I am sorrow and longing and hope unfulfilled. I am She Who Must Be Obeyed!" Not quite the drawing room comedies she was used to on Broadway.

    With her husband Melvyn Douglas' acting career thriving, a creatively unsatisfied Gahagan turned her attentions to the throngs of displaced farmers who had left behind the massive roving dust clouds of their Midwest homes in favor of sunny California and the possibility of food. So instead, she hosted fundraisers and led First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt through California's migrant camps to highlight their plight.

    Then, in the early '40s, President Roosevelt asked the vehemently liberal Gahagan to run for the U.S. House of Representatives to counter-balance Clare Booth Luce, a vehemently conservative female playwright and journalist, effectively keeping the female Congressional influence at zero. Gahagan did, running as Helen Gahagan Douglas. And, with the help and support of a young, handsome, fellow liberal actor named Ronald Reagan, she was elected in 1944.

    Gahagan found a friend in Texas Representative Lyndon B. Johnson, who mentored her in exchange for the chance to stare longingly at her thin, doll-like ankles during long House sessions. After Johnson successfully made the leap to the Senate in 1948, Gahagan decided to give it a try as well in 1950. Unfortunately, she ran against Representative Richard Nixon, who didn't care for Gahagan's civil-responsibility-minded ways. He promptly dragged the electoral process down into the mud, dug up the mud and then dragged it down into the sludge beneath the mud. Their election is widely remembered as one of the ugliest in Congressional history. He named her "The Pink Lady" (and she, in turn, named him "Tricky Dick"). He tied her to Communism at any available opportunity, at one point saying famously, "She's pink right down to her underwear." This image of the lithe Congresswoman traipsing about Capitol Hill in silky rose-colored bra and panties resonated with the voters, who carried it with them into the cool, dark privacy of their voting booths. And probably beyond. Nixon beat her with 59% of the vote.

    Gahagan never returned to politics, but she did live out the rest of her life as an outspoken advocate of liberal causes until her death in 1980. Nixon went on to do some other things, we think.

    Tags: Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon