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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

No Country for Old Men

Michael McDonald just performed “America the Beautiful” at the Democratic National Convention’s Barackopolis location.  I was going to make a comment about how odd it is that the convention nominating the candidate of “youth” and “change” would feature almost nothing but music and musicians from before I was born.  Instead, I’m just going to link to this.

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As today is Father’s Day, I will provide an interesting piece of patriarchal trivia:  Did you know that Ronald Reagan was the last U.S. president to not be named after either his father or his grandfather?

George H. W. Bush was named after his maternal grandfather, George Herbert Walker.

William Jefferson Clinton was named after his birth father, William Jefferson Blythe, Jr.

George W. Bush, though not a junior, was clearly named after his father, George H. W. Bush.

(Reagan is also the last president whose father doesn’t have his own Wikipedia page.  Coincidence?)

Interestingly, this trend will almost certainly continue through 2008, since both major-party candidates (Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. and John Sidney McCain III) and the leading minor-party candidate (Robert Laurence Barr, Jr.) are all named after their fathers.  If you’re interested in breaking the trend, note that neither Ralph Nader or Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin are juniors.  (I wasn’t able to determine whether they’re named after their respective grandfathers.)

Since all you really come here for are cute baby pix, I have included a picture of Pru decked out in her Flag Day best after the break.

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She's even more excited than she looks!

Baby’s first political manifesto.  Thanks, Dr. No!

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I’ve been reading (in starts and stops, but mostly the latter) this book.  It’s pretty great and does a very good job of not getting too bogged down in either the Jefferson or the wine.  It also pretty much reinforces an opinion of mine that was previously based on gut reaction and a completely superficial reading of Jefferson’s Greatest Hits:  Thomas Jefferson was a huge jerk.  No, I’m not talking about his slavery contradictions (a criticism which, frankly, is totally played out for me).  It’s the stupid, piddly, day-to-day antics.  He spends a great deal of time and thought coming up with elaborate ruses to avoid paying taxes on his imported wines, for example.   He requests that casks he ships back home be labeled as vin ordinare instead of the actual, more expensive contents.  Sure it couldbe because he wants to avoid theft in transit but the much more logical conclusion is that he just doesn’t feel the obligation to pay the taxes on the good stuff.  The Cult of Jefferson likes to explain these things away by painting him as some sort of absent-minded-professor-who-doesn’t-balance-his-checkbook-type.   I don’t buy that reading.

Anyway, Angus and I were discussing how it’s pretty silly that Thomas Jefferson is always a name that pops up on those ridiculous “historical figures you’d like to invite to a dinner party” lists* as he seems like he’d be a complete loser.  Add that to the fact that he’d probably be the Founding Father with the least amount of actual experience in the whole Revolution thing and you have one boring walking architecture treatise**.  He would be the worst blogger of his founding peers, in other words. (more…)

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As my long-suffering parents can attest, I was a huge McLaughlin Group fan as a kid.  Huge.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 indicating a level of enthusiasm equal to what the average Hillary Clinton voter has for her candidacy and 10 indicating full-blown fainting Bobby Soxer swooning, I was a 9.  We now know this is a hereditary trait because Prudence spent all afternoon yesterday entranced by the undeniable genius of this cartoon.

I told you it was awesome.  Why did you doubt?

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Yesterday at 5:02 pm this humble blog was visited (via a link in the Shrine of the Holy Whapping comments section) by someone with an IP address in scenic Sugar Land, Texas.  Could it be … the Hammer?  Every problem has been looking like a nail today.

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So you all know the story of the three year old who had the Jim Lehrer-themed birthday party, right? Lets just say I’m starting early with filling Pru’s head full of interesting tid-bits about Michael Barone, and leave it at that. See you in 2 years, 9 months!

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