Bill Moyers Journal: Clinton, Obama, King & Johnston + more (video)

Dandelion Salad


A Bill Moyers essay on Martin Luther King, Jr., LBJ, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

For more go to

h/t: After Downing Street

Bill Moyers Journal
January 19, 2008

BILL MOYERS: If William Shakespeare were around I suspect he might describe the recent flap between the Obama and Clinton camps as much ado about nothing or a tempest in a teapot. Senator Clinton was heard to say that it took a president – Lyndon Johnson – to consummate the work of Martin Luther King by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Almost no one in the media bothered to run the whole quote. Here it is:

HILLARY CLINTON: Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the president before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done”

BILL MOYERS: There was nothing in that quote about race. It was an historical fact, an affirmation of the obvious. But critics pounced. THE NEW YORK TIMES published a lead editorial accusing Senator Clinton of “the distasteful implication that a black man needed the help of a white man to effect change.” Suddenly we had a rhetorical inferno on our hands, with charges flying left and right, and pundits throwing gasoline on the tiniest of embers. Fortunately the furor has quieted down, and everyone’s said they’re sorry, except THE NEW YORK TIMES. But I can’t resist this footnote to the story.



David Cay Johnston

With all the talk of change coming out of the campaigns, can we expect big money to lose its grip on Washington? Bill Moyers interviews NEW YORK TIMES investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston who says America’s system has been rigged to benefit the super-rich.

Johnston is the best-selling author of PERFECTLY LEGAL: THE COVERT CAMPAIGN TO RIG OUR TAX SYSTEM TO BENEFIT THE SUPER RICH–AND CHEAT EVERYBODY ELSE. Johnston’s latest book, FREE LUNCH: HOW THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS ENRICH THEMSELVES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND STICK YOU WITH THE BILL, explores the power of lobbyists and wealthy donors to manipulate government policies such as regulation, taxes, and subsidies to enrich themselves at tax-payers’ expense.

transcript and video link


Harvey J. Kaye: Time Again for Tom Paine?

Decades ago Ronald Reagan borrowed a phrase from a founding father often overlooked. He rallied his party at the Republican National Convention with these patriotic words: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

Calling for a revolution, Reagan chose those words from the writings of America’s first great radical, and its first best selling writer. His name was Thomas Paine. Over two centuries ago this month, Paine’s most famous book, COMMON SENSE, sold what today would be fifty million copies. Farmers in the fields stopped to read it.

transcript and video link


Craig Unger on the U.S. and the Saudis

As President Bush winds up what will probably be one of his final trips to the Middle East, Bill Moyers sits down with journalist Craig Unger, contributing editor of VANITY FAIR and author of the best-selling HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF SAUD and, most recently, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF BUSH for some analysis.

“Well, this is the story essentially of the oil addict coming to the dealer and not being treated too well. Yes, there’s a lot of fine ceremony on the surface. But … I think it’s very unlikely that those oil prices will go down or that the Saudis are really in a position to help Bush fulfill his vision of reshaping the Middle East.”

On January 3, 2008, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley announced that President George W. Bush was embarking on an eight day trip to the Middle East starting on January 8th.

transcript and video link


Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence By Rev. Martin Luther King (audio; transcript)

Give the Candidates the MLK Test by Glen Ford

What you may not know about Dr. Martin Luther King + Rev. Yearwood on MLK’s dream (videos)

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Govt Expense (& Stick You with the Bill)” (must see video)

Martin Luther King, Jr/MLK