Friday, December 23, 2011

Today -100: December 23, 1911: Of retaliation, Roosevelt booms, piracy, cats and chickens

Members of the Russian Duma are threatening to double tariffs on American goods in retaliation for Taft’s abrogation of the US-Russian Treaty of 1832 (which is not entirely unfair, since American tariffs on Russian goods would also increase).

Persia finally accedes to Russia’s ultimatum and fires its American treasurer-general William Morgan-Shuster.

The last week or two, there have been lots of little stories about various mid-level Republican officials and groups of party members calling for the replacement of Taft by Theodore Roosevelt as the party’s 1912 candidate. It’s not quite a movement, and at this stage TR is standing on the sidelines and repeating if asked that he doesn’t intend to run. But the aim of his supporters is clearly to generate a public demand that will make the party realize that no one really likes Taft while many still adulate Roosevelt and that with the country’s trend towards the Democrats, only Roosevelt has a shot in ‘12. The problem is that only a handful of states selected their delegates to the Republican convention through primaries, and the rest will be chosen by a party machine that doesn’t really care what the public thinks and never liked TR, to the point of preferring to see a Democrat in the White House than him.

An Italian cruiser seizes a British steamer near the Suez Canal carrying $150,000 in gold coin being sent to pay Turkish troops in Yemen.

The Corona Cat Skin Company plans to open a cat farm on Long Island. Fuckers.

Headlines of the Day -100: “Chicken Wins Boy’s Pardon” (NYT) and “PLEADS FOR SON’S PARDON: Old Colored Mammy Calls on Georgia Governor with a Christmas Offering” (LAT). A black woman bribes Gov. Slaton of Georgia with a chicken to get a pardon for her son in time for Xmas. (Actually, he doesn’t accept the chicken.)