but i mean if hillary ever becomes president we can spend all our time worshipping bill’s sense of fashion like omg did you see that the First Gentleman’s mixing it up again with a trendy affordable undershirt and a stylish designer suit dang bill you just keep dazzling us again and again your spouse is the most powerful individual on the planet but we have to say your ability to pair clothes does our nation proud

The Almost-President

Daniel Webster had two chances to become president via the vice presidency. In 1840 the Whig party nominated William Henry Harrison for president and Harrison offered the vice presidency to Webster. Webster turned it down and Harrison died after a single month in office; his death would have made Webster president.

Eight years later Webster competed with Zachary Taylor for the Whig party’s nomination. Taylor won and invited him to be his running mate, and Webster again shunned the office, saying, “I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead and in my coffin.” Taylor won the White House and died 16 months afterward, which again would have made Webster president if he’d accepted.

My Only Thought On The Presidential Debate

Maybe instead of debating a three percent margin of error in the definition of “small business,” we should hear about who will stop killing innocent women & children overseas with drone strikes; who will stop killing American citizens using extrajudicial Executive Orders; who will stop incarcerating non-violent offenders in federal prison for victimless crimes; who will stop turning terminally ill patients into criminals for having the audacity to smoke a harmless plant that effectively eases their symptoms; who will stop disabled 7-year olds and breast cancer survivors being felt up by TSA agents; and who will stop trying to get us involved in yet another war with yet another Middle Eastern country.

Anytime now, fellas.  Anytime.

Update: A few people have mentioned that foreign policy isn’t being covered in this debate.  If any one of these issues above is discussed with even a modicum of candor in future debates, I will stand corrected.  I am making a strong bet they won’t be.  And if they are, you will finally see some real bipartisanship on display.

A fundamental fact of modern political life is that the only way to advance a coherent agenda in Washington is through partisan dominance…

The boring fact of our system is that congressional math is the best predictor of a President’s success. This idea is not nearly as sexy as the notion that great Presidents are great because they twist arms in backrooms and inspire the American people to rise up and force Congress to bend to their will. But even the Presidents who are remembered for their relentless congressional lobbying and socializing were more often than not successful for more mundane reasons—like arithmetic.

In today’s Daily Comment, Ryan Lizza writes about the limits of President Obama’s power in the wake of the failed sequester deal: http://nyr.kr/XT5vgj

Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP.

Okay so I’m a history major, and I love history more then you could imagine. 

What really pisses me off though, is that the common perception is that George Washington was the first president of the United States. Yes, George Washington was the first version of the President that we all know of. 

But for the love of God, someone give John Hanson some credit. Hanson was the first president of the United States technically. In 1781 he was elected as the President of the Continental Congress. Aka, our form of government at the time. Meaning John Hanson was the first president of our country. 

I hate to be that annoying person that rants about nothing, but this bothers me more than anything in the world. John Hanson deserves some credit. And people should educate themselves about history before they ignorantly follow the public school system. 

The presidency of the United States itself is not an instrumentality which is going to help Black people in their struggle for liberation. You can have a liberal slave master or you can have a conservative slave master, but as long as his position is to be the master of the slave plantation, there’s little qualitatively that he or she will contribute to the people’s liberation.
—  Chokwe Lumumba, activist, attorney, and human rights advocate (1988)

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this:

  • a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
  • It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
  • It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
  • We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
  • We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

It calls upon them to answer the question that stirs the hearts of all sane men: is there no other way the world may live?

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

George Washington Library Opens at Mount Vernon

George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate has opened a $47 million library dedicated to the study of America’s first president, with plans to host a series of scholars who will examine the lives of Washington and the other founding fathers.

Since 1853, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Washington’s legacy. But with the opening on Friday of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, Mount Vernon is committing itself to sponsoring a formal level of scholarship about Washington, and Mount Vernon officials say they have no intention of insisting on a glossy interpretation.

“There is this vision of Washington as a man on a pedestal,” said Curt Viebranz, Mount Vernon’s president and chief executive. “I actually think if you take him down off the pedestal, it’s an even more compelling story. We’re not going to try to control the message.”

» via New York Times


In Focus: The 2nd Inauguration of Barack Obama in Photos

Preparations have been under way for weeks for the 57th U.S. Presidential Inauguration, taking place today in Washington, D.C. Planners are expecting hundreds of thousands to attend the public swearing in of President Barack Obama for his second term, and more to attend the Inaugural Parade and dozens of related parties, balls, and concerts around the area. I’ll be posting photographic coverage of the events to this essay throughout the day, so check back later for more.

See more. [Images: AP, Getty, Reuters]