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.

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