Mrs. Paine's Garage and the Murder of John F. Kennedy
By Thomas Mallon. Pantheon, 224 pages, $22.00
Why did Mrs. Ruth Paine of Irving, Texas, make the notation "LHO purchase of rifle" on the March 1963 page of her Hallmark pocket calendar? Soon enough, everyone would find out that LHO was Lee Harvey Oswald. But how and why would an unassuming mother of two young children in a Dallas suburb know, eight months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, that Oswald had purchased a rifle?
In the mid-1990s, a group of liberal activists, with the
support of a few wealthy donors, developed a new strategy to reduce the power of
money in national politics. Let's not waste so much energy trying to get minor
reforms through Congress, they reasoned. Let's take the battle to the states and
push for something meaningful, something that could really change the way
campaigns and elections are conducted.
A small minority of Americans--maybe two million people, maybe as many as five million--will vote for Ralph Nader for president this year. Most have gotten into arguments about the decision or have had someone try to talk them out of "throwing away" their vote. Many have been told they are doing something harmful or, at the minimum, irresponsible. Bush or Gore will be the next president. To pretend there is another choice is foolish.
In the world of political campaign advertising, there is nothing sweeter than coming up with an ad that is so clever or outrageous it gets free publicity. Ralph Nader hit the jackpot in the fall campaign with his spot that parodied MasterCard's "priceless" commercial. Nader's campaign even ended up getting sued by the credit card company (a federal judge refused to order the ad off the air, it turned out).
Don't buy into the mainstream media's propaganda about how the recent transfer of power in Washington was remarkable for its lack of violence. That ignores the mobs of bloodthirsty liberals rampaging through the nation's capital, ready to hoist the heads of innocent conservatives on newly sharpened pikes.