That TV special featuring post-assassination interviews with former First Lady Jackie Kennedy – scheduled for next week — will open some old wounds in Atlanta. A teaser issued last night by ABC News:
Speaking in the months after her husband’s assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy was so upset with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that she told a friend and interviewer that she could barely look at images of him.
“I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible,” Mrs. Kennedy said, as part of an oral history series of interviews released this month.
The widowed first lady soured on King as a result of secret wiretaps arranged by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover had told President Kennedy that King tried to arrange a sex party while in town for the March on Washington, and told Robert Kennedy that King had made derogatory comments during the president’s funeral, Mrs. Kennedy recalled.
But as for what was actually said by King and his circle, history remains uncertain. The original surveillance tapes involving King have never been released publicly, and are under seal by court order until 2027.
Rep. John Lewis, legendary civil rights leader and friend of King’s, told ABC News that he believes Hoover concocted damaging material about King to give to the Kennedys because “he wanted to destroy the man.
From my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington: Much was made over the fact that, in his speech Thursday night, President Barack Obama gave specific mention to a program called Georgia Works, an effort started by then-Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to ease the unemployed into new jobs requiring new sets of skills.
But overlooked were the fingerprints of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. The president included a proposal Isakson co-sponsored with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to allow struggling homeowners with loans with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to refinance their mortgages without fees, so they can take advantage of the current low interest rates.
“That would reduce foreclosures and stabilize a lot of homes,” Isakson told Malloy last night.
This week, while most of Washington D.C. was gazing into a crystal ball, trying to figure out what President Barack Obama would say, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss was quietly activating – yet again – his bipartisan Gang of Six effort to address the federal deficit. From the Washington Post:
More than two dozen senators from both parties met privately this week to revive hopes of a grand debt-cutting bargain — exploring how to push the newly formed debt “supercommittee” to find far more than its assigned goal of $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions.
The senators want at least $3 trillion slashed from the deficit over the next decade. In addition, they plan to press the committee to pass a major tax overhaul to lower rates and close special-interest loopholes, as well as changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare, according to several participants….
The private gathering this week, held Wednesday in a Capitol meeting room, included about 25 centrists from both parties. It was organized by Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), two members of the “Gang of Six,” which tried unsuccessfully to engineer a grand deal patterned loosely after the plan laid out by the deficit commission headed by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan Simpson.
On Thursday, state Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna, became the most prominent member of the Cobb County legislative delegation to endorse next year’s sales tax for transportation, my AJC colleague Janel Davis notes.
The Marietta Daily Journal, which also had a reporter in the room, quoted Stoner’s reply to those – including Cobb’s sheriff – who have warned that increased mass transit would lead to more crime:
“I’ve heard that issue for years,” Stoner said. “I’m a native Cobb Countian: I’ve heard it used in not allowing MARTA into this county. Honestly, I’ve grown up listening to that rhetoric for a very long time … We’re now a county with almost 700,000 people. Usually, when we have more people we have more problems, a more complex society. So to say one thing is the reason for all of that I think is a very (simplified) explanation for everything.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider