How about that, there's someone on the airwaves more unhinged than liberal radio talker and MSNBC heat miser Ed Schultz. And go figure, that someone happens to be a frequent Schultz guest.
But between his appearance on Schultz's radio show Nov. 22 and Schultz's MSNBC program several hours later, the caffeine apparently wore off for Mike Papantonio, a lawyer and co-host of the radio show "Ring of Fire," seeing how Papantonio dialed down his remarks from what he initially told Schultz.
Here's what Papantonio said during the first hour of Schultz's radio show Monday between noon and 1 p.m. while complaining about President Obama's upcoming appearance before the US Chamber of Commerce (audio and video below page break) --
PAPANTONIO (audio here): That's why I say, when I see Obama going and saying we can get along, I'm one of you, we're going to be OK, we're buddies, when I see that and I'm hearing what they really want, but what it is, Ed, is you got the Koch brothers, you have these inheritance babies, these guys have never earned a dime themselves that wasn't given to 'em by mommy and daddy. That's the Scaife brothers, it's the Koch brothers, it's the Coors brothers, you name it, they want America to return to the age of robber barons where there was no taxes, there was no regulation, there was no Social Security, there were no rules, there were two classes, super wealthy and super poverty. And unfortunately, all parts of history if you look at it, it's always been that uncompromising, that predatory industrialist type who've moved politics of their country, wherever the country was, towards regressive right-wing leadership, whether it was assassinating Allende in China, in Chile, or whether it was, soon it's going to be Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
Coups are rarely about the military, Ed. They're about industrialists like Mr. Koch, like Mr. Scaife, like the Coors, like the US Chamber of Commerce, coups that never take place with a fire being, with a gun being shot. That's what's happening in the United States right now. Right before our eyes it's happening and every time Obama goes and meets with these thugs, he gets further away from who he is.
SCHULTZ: No doubt. Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure. "Ring of Fire," tell us about it, the radio show you got going (with) Bobby Kennedy.
Curiously enough, any mention of this shadowy coup attempt was absent from Papantonio's remarks when he spoke on that evening's 6 p.m. broadcast of "The Ed Show," as to be seen in the embedded video --
SCHULTZ: Am I right or wrong on this, Pap? I mean, you have millions of dollars coming in to destroy an agenda of a president who couldn't do more for small businesses!
PAPANTONIO: Ed, somebody needs to tell Obama, they don't like him, they despise him, he's never going to be their friend, they're never going to let Obama into their club, get over it! Stop, move out of that fetal position and stop acting so needy! These are not your friends, Mr. President! It was only a few months ago we heard Obama give a series of speeches about how destructive the Chamber of Commerce was to democracy. And you know what? He was right then, but apparently he's forgotten that, he's forgiven 'em, Obama has a new pitch now. Remember what they did, Ed. It was the Chamber of Commerce went begging all over this country, places like Mumbai, Singapore, Dubai, Bahrain, asking for money so they could buy part of our democracy. The US Chamber of Commerce did that and then they took 99 percent of that money and they gave it to everybody who hates Obama.
SCHULTZ: So Mike, where's the truce? What's this truce? Truce for what? Since when, I mean, a truce is when somebody helps you out. The chamber is not going to help out this president.
PAPANTONIO: Ed, there will never be a truce and he can't get in his head what FDR figured out. FDR said, look, they hate me. I know they hate me. I have nothing in common with 'em. And that's OK, I'm gonna be a president, I'm gonna show leadership anyway. Listen, just the short list of what these people have done in the last few years is outrageous. Eighty-seven million dollars, secret, anonymous money to destroy his only, his major program on health care. Eighty million dollars went towards GOP candidates who want tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, they want to hand over Social Security to Wall Street, they want to transfer more wealth from America's middle class to America's millionaires, they want to end regulations so those same cats on Wall Street can do it again.
SCHULTZ: So Mike, what would be the upside of the president having somewhat of a not good relationship with the chamber? I mean, if they're working against him, you know, why doesn't he just say the hell with 'em and move on?
PAPANTONIO: Ed, when he came into office, remember what he did. We saw Geithner, we saw Summers, we saw Eric Holder, we saw all the folks who've been tied to the Chamber of Commerce forever. And what he's forgotten is, when he makes nice with the Chamber of Commerce, you know what he's really doing? He's making nice with a bunch of inheritance babies, an inheritance, the billionaires who want politics in America to be run according to the American Crossroads agenda or the insane Heritage Foundation agenda. It's the Koch family, the Richard Mellon Scaife group, the inheritance babies who could care less about democracy, all they care about, can we squeeze another dime out of the American public.
SCHULTZ: It is about the power. It's the outsourcing (crosstalk) ...
PAPANTONIO: And he has no kinship.
SCHULTZ: ... it's the outsourcing agency of America. Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure ...
What a relief, an alleged coup that vanished within hours.
Given Papantonio's expertise in history, to say nothing of geography ("all over this country, places like Mumbai, Singapore, Dubai, Bahrain"), surely he's aware it isn't always "industrialists" who attempt coups. Another example comes to mind whose chief architects were the late uncle and father of Papantonio's "Ring of Fire" co-host -- John and Robert Kennedy's efforts to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro and oust his regime. As coincidence would have it, Papantonio made his remarks on the 47th anniversary of John Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. And the most plausible motive for assasin Lee Harvey Oswald's actions? Anger at the Kennedys' attempts to topple Castro in a coup.
As described by James Piereson in his perceptive book "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism" --
On Sept. 7, 1963, Fidel Castro attended a reception at the Brazilian embassy in Havana and submitted to an impromptu interview by an Associated Press reporter. In the course of that interview, Castro made some startling remarks. Referring to hit-and-run raids by exile forces against Cuban territory, he announced, "We are prepared to fight them and answer in kind. United States leaders should be mindful that if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe." The article describing the interview was carried over the Associated Press wire, appearing in numerous daily papers around the country, including the local paper in New Orleans, where Oswald was then living [while politicking as sole member of New Orleans chapter of Fair Play for Cuba Committee]. Oswald probably saw the article, along with Castro's threatening statement, since he searched out news about Cuba and Castro. ...
Later than same month, on Sept. 25, Oswald was on a bus from New Orleans to Mexico City where he visited the Cuban and Russian embassies in the hope of obtaining a visa to defect to Cuba. More from Piereson's analysis --
Within a few weeks, he would receive word in Dallas that his travel visa to Cuba had been approved by Cuban officials, provided that he received his [in-transit] visa to travel to the Soviet Union. The approval of his visa thus suggests that despite the provocative remarks he had made [at the Cuban and Russian embassies], Oswald would still be welcome in Cuba.
On Oct. 4, the White House announced a series of forthcoming presidential trips, including one to the Dallas-Forth Worth area on Nov. 21-22. News of the scheduled trips appeared in the national press on Oct. 5, receiving major coverage in the Dallas media that day. With his plans to travel to Cuba now on hold, Oswald may have seen a new opportunity appear magically on the horizon. It may have seemed to Oswald that fate had dealt him a rare opening. A week later, with the help of Ruth Paine, he interviewed for and was offered a position at the Texas School Book Depository on Elm Street in Dallas. ...
... On Nov. 18, President Kennedy addressed various issues concerning Latin America at a dinner in Miami hosted by the Inter-American Press Assocation. In the course of these remarks, he pointedly addressed the situation in Cuba. "It is a fact," he said, "that a small band of conspirators has stripped the Cuban people of their freedom and handed over the independence and sovereignty of their Cuban nation to forces beyond the hemisphere." He said that "the conspirators" have made Cuba an instrument of a foreign power that wishes to use it as a weapon "to subvert the other American republics." ...
... These remarks were inserted into the president's speech as a signal to "Amlash," the Cuban agent working with the CIA whose real name was Cubella, that the US government at the highest level approved the planned coup against Castro. The CIA case officer working with "Amlash" arranged a meeting with him in Paris on Nov. 22, at which time he delivered to him a poison pen for use in an assassination attempt. A few hours later President Kennedy was assassinated. ...
... From 1961 to late 1963, there were two pressing political issues that absorbed the attention of the Kennedy administration and the nation as a whole. The first was the civil rights movement, the historic effort to win equal rights for the American Negro ... The second issue was the Cold War, with Cuba as its flashpoint, expressed by the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the ongoing war of words between Kennedy and Castro, and covert efforts to overthrow Castro's government by invasion, sabotage, or assassination. ...
... Jacqueline Kennedy, along with most liberals, was immersed in the first, Lee Harvey Oswald in the second. Liberals were preoccupied with civil rights, Oswald with defending Castro against plots to eliminate him. Oswald assassinated President Kennedy in order to interrupt his administration's efforts to assassinate Castro and overthrow his communist government in Cuba. Oswald was perfectly willing to be captured or killed in this enterprise, just as he was seven months earlier when he made an attempt on General Walker's life. The evidence suggests (but does not prove) that he carried out the act on his own without assistance or guidance from agents of the Cuban or the Soviet government. Nevertheless, Oswald's activities in New Orleans during the summer of 1963 and his visits to the two embassies in Mexico City two months before the assassination remain more than a little suspicious. If there was in fact a conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy, it more than likely involved agents of the Cuban government or pro-Castro activists operating in the United States.
In a devastating observation, Piereson alluded to liberals like Papantonio who anguish over the specter of Castro soulmate Hugo Chavez's possible ouster in a coup --
It is one of the ironies of recent history that many of those young people who filed in shocked grief past the president's coffin in 1963 would just a few years later embrace as political activists the very doctrines that drove Oswald to assassinate him.
Oswald, safe to say, not being a big fan of "industrialists".