Friday, March 01, 2013

Today -100: March 1, 1913: Of imported alcohol, warships, and nerveless and feeble governments

Pres. Taft vetoes the Webb-Kenyon Bill to ban the importation of booze into dry states, arguing that it allowed the states to determine the legality of inter-state commerce, a power reserved by the Constitution to Congress. The Senate overrides his veto almost immediately (the House will do so tomorrow), with R’s & D’s voting on both sides. And while Taft’s argument makes sense to me, the Supreme Court in 1917 upheld the Act 7-2.

NY Gov. Bill Sulzer is investigating corrupt practices in the prison service, whose secretary was just overheard saying “the governor can go to hell,” but claims that he said it only in his personal capacity.

A while back, Pres. Taft sent some warships to Vera Cruz just to, you know, chill. So they’ve been doing target practice, and they clearly need it because stray shots just killed one local and wounded three fishermen (on fishing boats? on land? the Times doesn’t say). This sort of thing is not helping dampen growing anti-American feeling; “One form taken by that sentiment was the refusal of young society men of Vera Cruz to play tennis with the junior officers of the Georgia.”

In military spending news, the US Senate votes to build two new warships this year, and the French Socialists (SFIO) will oppose the huge military spending increase the government is asking for, saying it should be spent on schools instead.

The NYT accuses the British government of being “nerveless and feeble in the face of the suffragist outbreaks” and praises members of the general public who “have taken the matter in [their] own hands with vigor” by assaulting suffragists.

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