June 22, 2016

Excerpts from Brady Carlson's "Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nations Leaders"... I admit I didn't enjoy the book as much as I had hope but it had a few cool bits:
Engineers told South Dakota's US senator Peter Norbeck it would be too difficult to carve the roads he'd proposed for tourists to access the site, but Norbeck insisted they go forward: "With enough dynamite," he told them, "anything is possible." It's not a slogan you'd want to print on national currency, but Borglum proved it correct, working right up until his unexpected death in 1941.
More recently the city tried emphasizing Dealey Plaza as a historical site well beyond its Kennedy ties, with one official describing the plaza as "a major public green space on the west side of downtown." (Reporter Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer summed up the message behind this effort as "One Unfortunate Afternoon Shouldn't Overshadow Dealey Plaza's Decades of Not Murdering Presidents.")
I am a blubber of water.
Andrew Jackson, suffering from fluid retention

But in 1880 the Republicans nominated Arthur as James A. Garfield's running mate to smooth out a squabble between two party factions. In less than a year, Garfield was a martyr and Arthur was the muttonchopped, well-dressed "Dude President." His first act in office was to lock himself in the bedroom and cry.
(I include this only mostly because it was Chester Arthur (or, specifically, a character that looked a bit like him in the video game "Time Splitters 2" that my cousin Ivan would announce as "Chester A. Arthur, America's Most Badass President". Ironic!)
The four [entirely incompatible factions of the Repubican party], by the way, are the ultra-religious theocrats, the libertarian "business is business" deregulators, the "subjugate the lesser countries" neocons, and Trump has revealed that the racists in the party are a faction all their own that can be courted.