Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today -100: July 31, 1912: Of race riots, supremacist progressives, and electrifying defectives

The British inquiry into the Titanic sinking blames it on the ship going too fast. And not keeping a proper watch (although it didn’t rule that binoculars are necessary in the future). It says there was no discrimination against third-class passengers in the evacuation.

Oh good, more race riots. 1) At a brick yard in Little Ferry, New Jersey. Weapons of choice: razors and bricks.

2) And in Fordyce, Arkansas, where the state national guard raided the negro neighborhood for unknown reasons.

Asked about his Progressive Party being organized in the South on a lily-white basis, Theodore Roosevelt totally wimps out, saying he has nothing to do with it, and it’s up to the guys who organize it in the South who they want to invite to their state conventions.

Worrying Headline of the Day -100: “Electricity for Defectives.” The NY Board of Education is being asked to try out a wacky idea of Nicola Tesla’s to test whether putting wires with high-frequency currents in the walls of classrooms containing “defective” children will improve them in some way. What could go wrong?

Monday, July 30, 2012

He’s making less and less effort to disguise his contempt

Romney’s claim in Israel that the Israeli (Jews) are richer than Palestinians because of their superior “culture” and the “hand of Providence” is nothing special. It’s just a Middle East variant of his belief that poor people are poor because they are big ol’ losers. Just like, according to Mittens in the same speech, Mexicans and Ecuadorans.

Today -100: July 30, 1912: Of mikados, race issues and race wars

Japanese Emperor Mutsuhito dies after a reign of 45 years.

Headline of the Day -100: “Race Issue Bothers Taft.” Some negroes, including the two in his administration, are pressing for the appointment of one Ulysses Mason as collector of internal revenue for northern Alabama. (Taft will go with a white dude instead.)

Nothing further on yesterday’s report of race riot/war in Georgia, but there is a fatuous NYT editorial which suggests that such stories are always fakes and that blacks in the South are actually “living in fairly prosperous circumstances... do not care particularly about political questions... and, while the race wars are raging in the dispatches, keep on making more corn and cotton than they can sell at the prices they would like.” So that’s okay then.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


What does it mean that the White House issued the proclamation for World Hepatitis Day the day after World Hepatitis Day?

Wailing? I’d rather be sailing.

Romney at the Western Wall.

“Yes, it has the right amount of wailing.”

“They’ll never find my tax records here.”

This is, of course, a CAPTION CONTEST.

Today -100: July 29, 1912: Of race riots and explorers

Race riot (or race war, according to the LA Times) in Plainville, Georgia. Evidently last week a white boy was hit with a stone, which naturally led to violence yesterday. All the negroes were driven out of the town (which is majority-black), and the sheriff was sent for. His posse was ambushed and the sheriff shot. Developing.

President Taft is such a bystander in his own re-election campaign that I hadn’t noticed that he hadn’t, until now, made any response to Roosevelt’s claim that the Republican convention was stolen. Well, now, rather belatedly, he has. It’s not very interesting.

Explorer Capt. Ejnar Mikkelsen and his engineer have returned from three years in the Arctic (Greenland), most of that time waiting for someone to rescue them (a Norwegian fishing, or possibly whaling, ship, in fact). His message: the Arctic really really sucks.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Today -100: July 28, 1912: Of the foulest of liars

Another lively, um, primary debate, in South Carolina. Gov. Coleman Blease accuses Southern Railroad of having employed the son of Ira Jones to influence his father when he was chief justice of the SC Supreme Court. Ira Jones calls Blease the “foulest of liars” and rushes him. Partisans of both sides whip out their guns. The police chief pulls his revolver and jumps between Jones and Blease, threatening to shoot the first one who made a hostile move.

Friday, July 27, 2012

It would be great if we could just leave it at that

Seeing certain elements of the internet delighting in The Sun’s dubbing Romney “Mitt the Twit,” I had to look up when I first started calling him Twitt Romney. August 14, 2007, it was. In that post, I reported a line snapped by Romney at reporters: “I’m pro-life; it would be great if we could just leave it at that.” I responded: “Really, would everybody just stop asking Romney any questions about his positions on issues, he doesn’t like it.” And nothing in his campaigning style has changed since then.

I’ve been looking for another old post, without success. I could swear that sometime in 2000, I drew up a list of unanswered questions about George Bush – where was he when he was supposed to be in Alabama in the Air National Guard, did he take cocaine, how many times was he stopped for DUIs, etc etc – and that months later, right before the election, I re-ran the post (except I can’t find that one either), noting that none of the questions had been answered and, indeed, almost none had ever been put directly to Bush himself. So no, it’s not inevitable that Mittens will be forced to release his tax returns.

Today -100: July 27, 1912: Of correctives and antidotes, and stews

Theodore Roosevelt says his address to the National Progressive Party convention next month will be “a corrective of socialism and an antidote to anarchy.”

Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “Roosevelt in a Stew on the Negro Question.” That is, he thinks he can win in a few Southern states, but not if he treats negroes like human beings (Southern racists still haven’t forgiven him for inviting Booker T. Washington to dine with him at the White House that one time).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Today -100: July 26, 1912: Of battleships, visible governors, and the electric chair

During parliamentary discussions over the proposed increase in naval spending, Prime Minister Asquith says Britain has no quarrel with Germany, it just doesn’t want anyone messing with its shit, which is half the world. Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey says that the arms race will increase the prospect of peace, because it will make everyone realize just how jolly expensive a war would be. So that’s all right then.

Headline of the Day -100: “Wilson To Be Visible For Just Two Hours.”

Georgia’s Bull Moose party holds a convention to nominate delegates to the national convention, but splits into two competing conventions over the “negro question.”

The electoral laws in many states did not really anticipate a situation where a third party springs up overnight out of an existing party after the primary but before the general election. This means that fights over ballot access and control over electors are developing in state after state. Roosevelt started out wanting to build his third party as a new independent party rather than a Republican splinter party, so that he could appeal to progressives of both the Democratic and Republican variety. In practice, though, in states where his followers control the Republican party machine, he is now willing to compromise and support Republican candidates (such as in Minnesota), if they support his presidential electors. In the Minnesota deal, the existing Republican electors would all resign and become Progressive electors by petition, and the Tafties would have to find new electors.

For 22 years, NY state has been executing people, 155 of them, in the electric chair, at a cost of $65,000+. An electrician charges $250 per execution (his assistant gets $50), plus travel and lodging.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Today -100: July 25, 1912: Of serpents and battleships

Novelist H. Rider Haggard reports that his daughter saw a sea serpent off Lowestoft, England.

US House Dems refuse to fund the two battleships a year the Taft administration wants built, despite the escalating German-British naval arms race and the alarming increase in sea serpents.

The first international Eugenics Congress opens in London.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Today -100: July 24, 1912: Of ships

Following Churchill’s announcement of an increase in Britain’s warship-building, the NYT says the US really needs to build more warships too, in case there’s a naval war with Germany or something.

Monday, July 23, 2012


A paywalled Ha’aretz article reports that Israel will demolish eight Palestinian villages, claiming the IDF needs the land for training exercises. And what are they training for? I’m guessing they’re training to evict Palestinians from their villages. Circle of life.

Today -100: July 23, 1912: More rum, more sodomy, more lashes

Britain: First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill calls for more naval spending and ship-building to counter that of Germany.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today -100: July 22, 1912: Of doctors’ strikes

The British Medical Association breaks off negotiations with Lloyd George over what the fee should be to handle National Insurance patients. And the BMA says that if any doctors accept the governments blackleg (that’s British for scab) rates, they will be ostracized socially by all respectable doctors.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today -100: July 21, 1912: Of slanderous eruptions and wolves

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease again denounces the investigation into his alleged corruption; he is also not happy with the “slanderous eruptions from the impure mind, foul mouth, and slanderous pen of Tom Felder” and with the man running against him for governor, former Chief Justice Ira Jones, who is “a cowardly liar.”

Such a great orator, isn’t he? He won an oratorical contest when he was a student at South Carolina University, which resulted in him no longer being a student at South Carolina University when they discovered he’d plagiarized it.

Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico are to cooperate in wiping out the wolf population of the region.

Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “Negro May Lead Harvard.” The Harvard track team, anyway.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Today -100: July 20, 1912: Of transportation

Portugal, having defeated the abortive monarchist uprising, is deporting royalists to the colonies. Very retro of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Without incident

Texas is experimenting with executing people using a single drug. I say experimenting although it’s a little hard to ask executed prisoners if it really did kill them more painfully than the old three-drug executions. Not a lot of scientific method, is what I’m saying.

Anyhoo, Texas claims the first execution using this method, performed Wednesday on Yokamon Hearn, was “carried off without incident.”

Unless you count the state of Texas killed a retarded dude as an “incident.”

Blog fail

Well, I tried:

1) Came up with “We, the ‘you people,’” googled it, found lots of people had already thought of it.

2) Texas state’s attorney John Hughes, defending voter i.d. law, told the court it’s not a big deal that some Texans would be forced to go 100 miles in each direction to obtain the i.d. Tried to find his phone number so Texans could ask him for a ride, since it’s not a big deal, but couldn’t find it.

3) Yesterday someone in his audience told Romney that Obama is a monster. The newspapers reported that Romney “disagreed” with her, but he actually said “That’s not a term I would use,” which is not the same as disagreeing. Anyway, I was thinking of having an “Obama’s not a monster, but if he were, what sort of monster would he be” contest, like I did with Hillary four years ago, but decided meh.

Today -100: July 19, 1912: Of hatchets and pusso alliances

Alma Belmont opens a women’s suffrage headquarters in Newport, Rhode Island, so it was obviously necessary that the NYT describe, in detail, what she was wearing.

British Prime Minister Asquith is in Dublin. A suffragette throws a hatchet at his carriage & others try to burn down the Theatre Royal a day before he is due to speak there.

NYT Index Typo of the Day: “PUSSO-JAPANESE ALLIANCE?; Expected Outcome of Prince Katsura’s Visit to St. Petersburg.” Probably some weird anime thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No worthy person

David Brooks complains that Obama’s anti-Bain Capital ad involves “the assumption that no worthy person would do what most global business leaders have been doing for the past half-century.”

Yes. Quite. And your point is?

(Incidentally, the complaint that Romney isn’t defending capitalism and out-sourcing properly, because surely everyone would agree that What’s Good for Bain Capital is Good for the Yoo Ess Ay if it were only explained to them slowly and using short words, is the exact mirror image of the complaint that Obama is failing to explain ObamaCare properly.)

Today -100: July 17, 1912: Of worrying insurance and buffaloes

The NYT says National Insurance is “worrying Britain.” A Mrs. Robinson Guffy has fired her 8 servants in protest at having to pay their insurance under ObamaLloyd George-care, and is trying to keep her 15-room house (and the garden) (and a stable full of horses) all by herself. I’m sure everyone’s hearts went out to Mrs. Robinson Guffy, in the extremely unlikely event that she wasn’t just made up by a Tory newspaper.

Headline of the Day -100: “Aviator Latham Slain by Buffalo.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Today -100: July 16, 1912: Of socialised medicine

Britain’s National Insurance Act goes into effect. The NYT says it could never be implemented here as no one would put up with it because, you know, freedom and shit.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today -100: July 15, 1912: He’s got mixed blood in him, and I can’t get him to admit it

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease calls the committee of the Legislature which is investigating him “gutter snipes,” adding, “If they will come to me, I will call them something that will make any man in South Carolina fight.” He offers to “shoot it out” with any member of the committee who says they believe the charges against him. He says of former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ira Jones, now running against him (after, according to Blease, “shaving the feathers off his legs,” whatever that means), “He’s got mixed blood in him, and I can’t get him to admit it.” And, just because he’s on a roll, Blease adds that the governor of Georgia doesn’t have the sense to raise a watermelon.

The NYT notes that Blease recently vetoed a bill for the medical inspection of school children, on the grounds that it was an infringement of personal liberty. Don’t ever change, South Carolina. Oh, right, you never do.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Today -100: July 14, 1912: Of pardons, the need for more Germans, ex-senators, and congresswomen

A private detective testifies to the South Carolina investigating committee that a friend of Gov. Coleman Blease promised that for $5,000 Blease would pardon James Johnson, alias Edward Murphy, alias Ed Howard, alias Gus Befold, alias G.M. Defeld, who blew open the safe of the Knoree Manufacturing Company.

Blease, who last year tried to get Atlanta attorney Thomas Felder extradited from Georgia, evidently in retaliation for Felder accusing him of having taken bribes when he was a state senator, last week tried to get him arrested on that warrant in Maryland, where Felder was a delegate at the Democratic convention.

President Taft will not campaign for re-election, because that sort of thing is beneath the dignity of the office.

The German government issues a warning against the “perilous decrease” in the birth-rate. There will be an inquiry.

The Senate expels William Lorimer (R-Ill.) 55-28 due to the massive corruption involved in his election. Lorimer says it’s okay because his family still loves him. Roosevelt takes credit for it, because two years ago he refused to sit at the same table with him at a public dinner.

Democrats in the 9th Congressional District of California (L.A.) select a woman, Musa Rawlings, as candidate.

Britain: a couple of suffragettes are arrested trying to burn down Colonial Minister Lewis Harcourt’s mansion.

Hey, did I mention the 1912 Olympics are going on? They totally are.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Maybe Mitt Romney in 1999-2002 was hiding out in the same place that George Bush was when he was supposed to be doing National Guard duty in Alabama?

Today -100: July 13, 1912: Of bribes, imbeciles, prohibitionists, and ice floes

South Carolina is investigating Gov. Coleman Blease for taking bribes to pardon criminals, veto bills, and protect “blind tigers” (speakeasies).

US immigration officials will henceforth allow entry to all foreign-born children of naturalized citizens, even if they’re imbeciles or idiots.

The National Prohibition Party convention nominates Eugene Chaflin for president and Aaron Watkins for v.p., just as in 1908.

Theodore Roosevelt denies that Progressivism is a sectional movement after one of his supporters, 92-year-old Civil War general Daniel Sickles (who Wikipedia tells us was a member of Congress before the war when he killed his wife’s lover, the son of Francis Scott Key, and became the first person in American history to be acquitted on a temporary insanity defense. And that was just before they made him a general. He disobeyed orders at Gettysburg, but wasn’t punished because his leg got blown off. Oh, and when he was a NY state senator he was censured by the Assembly for bringing a prostitute into the chamber, a prostitute he later presented to Queen Victoria. Interesting Wikipedia entry, is what I’m saying), says that Wilson shouldn’t be elected because he’s a southerner. Why, TR responds, some of my uncles fought on the Confederate side, and everyone who fought on both sides was great.

A member of the Newfoundland Legislative Council says that all the Titanic passengers could have been saved, lifeboats or no lifeboats, by putting them on ice floes until rescue arrived, like the survivors of the Polaris in 1873.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Today -100: July 12, 1912: Of theft, prohibitionists, and royalists

Theodore Roosevelt makes the case in The Outlook that Taft’s re-nomination was the result of theft.

The Nevada Republican convention, whenever that was, named delegates to the national convention, but forgot to nominate any electors, so Taft may not be on the ballot in November.

The Prohibition Party is holding its convention now. The platform, besides the obvious, calls for women’s suffrage, direct election of senators, the initiative, referendum & recall, income tax, and abolition of polygamy & white slavery.

The royalist invasion force in Portugal has been forced to retreat into the mountains.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If you understood who I truly am in my heart...

Mitt Romney gave a speech to the NAACP today.

He was booed just twice, which suggests that they were very properly booing the ideas rather than the person. There isn’t enough booing of politicians. As the London Times said in an editorial entitled “A Good Word for Hecklers” in 1950, a few well-chosen and well-timed interventions, a sprinkling of laughter in the wrong places, will hasten politicians’ political development and might promote their spiritual welfare.

AAAAND, STRAIGHT TO THE CONDESCENSION: “I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president.” Moving beyond the “you only hate me because you don’t understand” smugness, one might ask if it’s important to understand what’s in his heart, when we know what’s in his actions and his policies.

Also note the insertion of the word families – African-American families – which puzzled me for a minute until I realized he was trying to divide African-Americans, to deny or at least not admit that African-Americans might have collective interests as a community, because he certainly won’t be addressing those.

Also note the adjectives real and enduring in “the real, enduring best interest of African-American families,” which suggests, I guess, that blacks don’t understand their real interests.

AND THEIR DRESSAGE HORSES: “I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color - and families of any color - more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president.”

BAD GRAMMAR ALERT! SOMEONE CHANGE HIS GRAMMAR CHIP! “The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not. The President wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich. I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.” There’s a logic fault; the rich will do just fine is not a refutation of the proposition that Republicans want to help the rich. Also, greedy rich bastards are not satisfied merely to “do just fine.” Also, what is it Obama is supposedly blaming the rich for?

TRANSLATION: PLEASE DON’T HURT ME. “But, in campaigns at their best, voters can expect a clear choice, and candidates can expect a fair hearing - only more so from a venerable organization like this one.”

BUT WE’RE OVER IT NOW, SO LET’S GO BACK TO RICH WHITE DUDES: “If someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised.” And urine-soaked.

AFTER REPEALING OBAMACARE AND DECLARING CHINA A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR, OF COURSE: “On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for the middle class. And I don’t mean just those who are middle class now - I also mean those who have waited so long for their chance to join the middle class.” I think he means poor people, but it’s too distasteful to refer to them directly.

Here’s the Obamacare reference that got the booing. I find it amusing that he phrased it as a deficit-reduction move: “we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare”.

WHAT HE WILL RESTORE: “I will restore economic freedom. This nation’s economy runs on freedom, on opportunity, on entrepreneurs, on dreamers who innovate and build businesses.” Also on planet-destroying fossil fuels and misery.

DID I SAY BETTER? I MEANT BITTER. “If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him.”

(On how great he was for black school kids when he was governor): “The teachers [SIC!] unions were not happy with a number of these reforms.” He seems to say that federal education money will be entirely in the form of vouchers.

HE’LL BOO THEM TOO: “I can’t promise that you and I will agree on every issue. But I do promise that your hospitality to me today will be returned.”

Not having any civil rights record of his own, he decided to invoke his father’s, another reminder of the devolution of the Republican Party.

(Update: in comments, Sen. Bob says "Mitt went there to tease the lions in the zoo by throwing red meat. They growled, and now his supporters believe that he is a lion tamer. He isn't.")

Today -100: July 11, 1912: Of pardons, hollering, and boxing

A May E. Brown writes a sappy poem to President Taft, who issues her a pardon, which is the traditional response.
Oh, Mr. President, most exalted in the land;
To you I now appeal, for you hold my freedom in your hand.
Not for myself I humbly plead, but a little child
My love and care doth need. ...

Punishment ne’er changes one’s heart,
Only by repentance can all sinfulness depart.
God gives to us forgiveness, at any time the heart repents.
Then why should man himself hold fast when God relents?
And why the waiting through the weary years so long?
If God’s decree be right, then surely man’s is wrong.

Yeesh. Anyway, the pardon released her one year into a 5½-year sentence for white slavery (she coaxed a 16-year-old into prostitution).

Roosevelt is talking about including a downward revision of tariffs in his platform. The NYT, in the most condescending editorial ever, thinks he should drop it, as the tariff “is a subject that requires concentrated thinking, and that lies beyond the powers of the great mass of his followers. It would kill them in a week.” Anyway, the Times says, his movement is purely a personal one, not having anything to do with issues or principles at all. “Mr. Roosevelt knows very well that there is a propensity in human nature that makes large numbers of people, when they look upon him, get up and holler.”

Boxing champeen Jack Johnson is told that if he wants to box in NY, he can only fight a black man.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today -100: July 10, 1912: Of putsches

Portuguese monarchists invade from Spain and seize the town of Cabeceiras de Basto. It’s one of those over-optimistic if-we-seize-a-tiny-bit-of-territory-everyone-will-rise-up-in-support-of-us deals.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Heh, he said member

The latest email from the Romney campaign asks me to “become a MyMitt Member.” Sounds like a euphemism.

Today -100: July 9, 1912: Of Progressives

The nascent Progressive Party is working out logistics. Given the time constraints, it will have to forego its democratic principles and select the delegates to its convention, now scheduled for next month, entirely through state conventions rather than primary elections. And it is negotiating deals with Republican and Democrat candidates throughout the country to give them support in exchange for help getting Progressive electors on the November ballot.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Today -100: July 8, 1912: Of rubber abuses, men overboard, and missionaries

Sexy, Sexy Headline of the Day -100: “End Rubber Abuses, America Tells Peru.”

Okay, not so funny, now that I’ve read it. I thought it was going to be a trade dispute story, but it’s the future late Sir Roger Casement’s investigation of Heart-of-Darkness-like exploitation of natives in Peru.

A headline that goes the other way: “Thrown Overboard Manacled in a Box.” Not some horrific crime, but Harry Houdini.

At the trial of 123 Koreans accused of attempting to assassinate Count Terauchi Masatake, Japanese governor-general of Korea (and later PM of Japan), the conspiracy is being blamed on an American Presbyterian missionary, a Rev. McClune.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Today -100: July 7, 1912: Of party realignments and mock ducks

Roosevelt plans for his Progressive Party (which I’m already beginning to see referred to sometimes as the Bull Moose Party) to run a full slate of candidates in NY, including judges.

There had been some talk of the Progressives running a Democrat for vice president in order to appeal to progressives in both parties, but the Democrats’ nomination of Wilson, a progressive, has taken the steam out of that idea.

And in California, Gov. Hiram Johnson explains that that state’s confusing laws are such that the Republican electors on the November ballot will be Progressives and there will be no Taft electors on the ballot unless each elector gets a petition signed by 11,000 qualified voters who hadn’t voted in the primaries.

Name of the Day -100: Mock Duck, head of a Chinese tong.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Today -100: July 6, 1912: Of free trade, a couple of emperors just chillin’, and lynchings

Theodore Roosevelt needs to distinguish his positions from those of the other Progressive in the race, Woodrow Wilson, and so is attacking him as being a supporter of free trade, which TR says would destroy farmers. He says the way to bring down the high cost of living is to control the trusts (the beef trust and whatnot).

Kaiser Bill and Tsar Nicky are meeting, as the former tries to coax the latter away from Russia’s military alliance with France.

A black man, John Williams, is lynched near Plummerville, Ark. A fight broke out at a “negroes’ picnic,” and Williams killed a “special deputy,” one of a posse sent to stop the fight (feels like there’s more going on here than is explained in the story).

Negro boxer Jack Johnson won another championship bout, and an army of cops goes into black neighborhoods in Chicago to prevent blacks celebrating the victory.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Today -100: July 5, 1912: Of unsatisfactory negroes, flags, and worms

White women in Savannah, Georgia are planning to replace all their “lazy and unsatisfactory negroes” with white servants imported from the Netherlands.

An IWW speaker is sentenced in Los Angeles to 40 days for “defiling and reviling and placing the American flag in contempt”.

Headline of the Day -100: “Worms Block a Train.” In Georgia. So many of them are crushed crossing the tracks that they grease the train’s wheels.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Today -100: July 4, 1912: Of sticking governors and unsticking governors

Woodrow Wilson won’t resign as governor of New Jersey while he runs for president, since that would mean a Republican taking over from him. Woody says he hasn’t read the party platform yet, and is rather surprised to hear that it limits him to one term in office.

The realignment within the Republican party goes on city by city and state by state, at too local a level to be covered here. In some places, Progressive Parties are being formed, in others, like California, Roosevelt supporters control the Republican Party. (The South Dakota Republican state convention, which just met, refuses to endorse Taft and elects 5 pro-Roosevelt electors). Some of the people Roosevelt had expected to follow him out of the Republican party are balking, while others, such as Mich. Gov. Chase Osborn, one of the governors who signed that letter months ago asking TR to challenge Taft, are suggesting that Progressive Republicans can vote for Wilson in good conscience because “The real Republican party has no candidate this year.” Osborn sees “no necessity for a new political party.” Roosevelt responds, “I didn’t think that Osborn would stick, anyway,” adding something not at all insulting about Osborn and Missouri Gov. Hadley’s lack of backbone.

The governor of Baja California forbids the San Diego and Southeastern Railway from running an excursion train which members of the Red Caps, an organization of black porters from Santa Fe, and their families were planning to take to Tijuana for an outing. He was afraid it was a cover for an invading private army of filibusters.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Today -100: July 3, 1912: Of Wilson, vile and malicious slanders, and mustache monopolies

Woodrow Wilson is nominated on the 46th ballot.

Champ Clark, who is not at all bitter, says he lost “solely through the vile and malicious slanders” of Bryan.

Incidentally, in 1917 Clark, still Speaker of the House, opposed entry into World War I. Had he become president, which he might so easily have done, history would have been rather different.

Indiana Gov. Thomas Marshall is nominated for vice president.

The NYT seems happy with Wilson, saying the party “escapes the thralldom of little men and ignoble leaders.” Wilson doesn’t owe his nomination to Wall Street or Bryan. And what they really like is that as a Progressive, he’ll take the wind out of Roosevelt’s sails.

The Democratic platform blames unequal distribution of wealth on the high Republican tariff; calls for a ban on corporations contributing to election campaigns and a limit on donations by individuals; a constitutional amendment for a single-term presidency; opposes American imperialism as “an inexcusable blunder which has involved us in enormous expense, brought us weakness instead of strength, and laid our nation open to the charge of abandonment of the fundamental doctrine of self-government,” and calls for the Philippines to be given independence.

Headline of the Day -100: “WANTS MUSTACHE MONOPOLY.” James Hazen Hyde, millionaire former insurance tycoon, fired sailors with facial hair on his rented yacht so he’d be the only one.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Today -100: July 2, 1912: Still waiting for the white smoke

The Democratic Convention has now held 42 ballots. Wilson took the lead on the 30th ballot and by the end of the day leads Clark 494 to 430 (104 for Underwood, 27 for Harmon), although he lost some votes on the last two ballots. He probably would have won by now, but delegates don’t want it to look like Bryan’s stunt tactics achieved anything.

The House passes a resolution expressing its confidence in the patriotism, honor & integrity of Speaker Clark.

The US battleships in Cuban waters are being recalled, as the Cubans have crushed the negro revolt and killed its leader. Hurrah?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Shit I was meaning to get back to

In that Obama fundraising email I mentioned a few days ago, he said “We can be outspent and still win -- but we can’t be outspent 10 to 1 and still win.” Er, why the hell not?

In the dissent in the Obamacare case, the right-wing justices argued that young people didn’t need the health-insurance mandate: “the health care ‘market’ that is the object of the Individual Mandate not only includes but principally consists of goods and services that the young people primarily affected by the Mandate do not purchase. They are quite simply not participants in that market”. Sure they are, because even if they do not get sick a good 40% or so of them avail themselves of contraceptives. The four justices, all being male and Catholic, seem to have forgotten about that.

Also, what’s up with the quotes around market?

Today -100: July 1, 1912: Of bosses and ninety wax figures

Yesterday was Sunday and a day off for the Democratic Convention, which of course means a day for horse-trading and faux outrage.

Champ Clark says he’s confident of being nominated, but then so does Oscar Underwood.

Clark also denies having made a deal with the devil (i.e., Wall Street), and demands that Bryan either prove the charge or retract it. Bryan responds that he’s actually accusing Clark of failing to act while his lieutenants make the deal with the devil or at least with Boss Murphy and the “ninety wax figures [the NY delegation] which Mr. Murphy under the unit rule uses to carry out the will of the predatory interests.” Bryan suggests that either Wilson or Clark would be acceptable if they promised to rely only on the Progressive vote and forgo NY’s 90 delegates. He also names several other people who would be perfectly acceptable to him.

William Randolph Hearst accuses Bryan of being a boss.