President Harding: Everything Old is New Again

Interesting piece in the Times today about the President.

Warren G. Harding, the Pride of Marion, Ohio, and one of the worst American presidents. Evidently, he was swoon-worthy in his day. I don’t see it. |Image: Harris & Ewing Collection/Library of Congress.

Well, President Warren G. Harding, our chief executive from 1921 to 1923 and, by all accounts, one of the absolute worst of the lot. Perhaps Pierce, Buchanan, Bush #2 and Fillmore rank worse. Perhaps.

Harding was a known womanizer and there were plenty of rumors circulating at the time that he fathered a child with one of his mistresses and what do you know? Ninety-two years after he died, DNA has proven unequivocally that Harding was the baby daddy.

Ain’t that a pisser?

I love the fact that a century ago this was bedrock scandal of the first order. Today, who the hell cares? Heck, I didn’t care 20 years ago (-ish) when Clinton was being diddled under the desk. Why should I? Why should you?

Look, all men in power — old white guys — they all* have a bit on the side. The President of the United States is any different? Lucy Mercer … Marilyn Monroe … Monica Lewinsky … Even the old “bachelor,” James Buchanan had William Rufus King. Oh, look it up. Old Hickory called the pair “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy.” King was not only Buchanan’s live-in for a decade, he was Franklin Pierce’s vice president for a bit, but he died in office. AND, his relationship with Buchanan was likely the reason for Buchanan’s Southern sympathies, thereby hindering his ability to broker a peace with the secessionists and stop the Civil War.

Buchanan — another of the worst presidents.

*Yes, all is a strong word. I don’t mean all here; but I do mean most.

Most Gay Porn Watched in the South?

Actually, that makes perfect sense to me and, as this clip from the Rubin Report explains, we should not be surprised that the regions that have the most oppressive anti-LGBT laws are were we would see this bubbling under the surface.

The Rubin Report is something that I would encourage you to look into. Like the Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, Dave Rubin has fashioned a unique program that combines humor with discussions about real issues. And instead of pundit blathering, he uses comedians. Usually, and this is not a stretch to those that have been around this world, the comedians are some of the best interpreters of human emotions and often offer important dissections of events of the day.

Also, they’re funny. So, there’s that.


Hometown News

According to reports in the Baltimore Sun*, three more students have been stabbed on the campus of Morgan State University. The stabbings occurred outside of the campus cafeteria. The students were football players and reports indicate that it may have had something to do with a fight that broke out at a dance over the weekend.

This is the second time police have been called to the campus in a week for a stabbing. Last Friday, a student stabbed his roommate over their messy dorm room.

Word to the wise: neatness counts.

*Alert Baltimoreans of a certain vintage would call this publication “the Sunpaper.” Light for all, bitches.

The Marriage Equality Map You Need To Know

The Marriage Equality Map You Need To Know.

Interesting map courtesy of BuzzFeed regarding the proliferation of marriage equality cases in the various Federal circuits. We are everywhere, it seems.

Speaking of, do you subscribe to the American Foundation for Equal Rights’ weekly marriage equality updates? You should. It’s a good quick two-to-three minute YouTube digest each week. We should all be keeping up with this. Here’s an embed of the most recent one.

Thought for the Day…

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events. This, plainly stated, is your language…

In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

To be sure, what the robber demanded of me – my money – was my own; and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle….

Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored – contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong…

—Abraham Lincoln, Cooper Union address of 1860.

P.S. – For a comically tragic account of the goings-on in Washington, find a copy go Jon Stewart’s opener from the 9/30/13 Daily Show. Brilliant.

What Soap Operas Can Teach Newspapers About Survival

Like soap operas, the newspaper industry has been slow to innovate and adapt to the digital age. Instead of embracing new ways to tell stories, and new platforms to tell them on, soap operas — like newspapers — resisted. That is, until now. This week Bloomberg TV interviewed veteran soap actress Deidre Hall and co-executive producer Greg Meng from the daytime serial Days of Our Lives, which has seen a four percent resurgence in ratings since the show revamped itself in 2011 (and it’s not even the most popular afternoon soap on air). The Bloomberg segment reveals several interesting points that I believe are applicable to the news industry in its report, ”You thought soap operas were dead…. They’re Not.” The same holds true for newspapers.

via What Soap Operas Can Teach Newspapers About Survival | allDigitocracy.

A good piece. The Bloomberg segment (linked in the cut above) is good, but it would have been better if the empty-headed anchors knew a scintilla about what they were talking about. Well, not like we’ve never seen THAT before!

Jimmy Fallon & Brian Williams — Slow Jam the Debt Ceiling

Says commenter “netbird” on this post on YouTube: Jimmy Fallon (and The Roots, and the entire crew, truth be told) managed to bring a breath of fresh air into the arguably pasty late night scene. They changed the late night television panorama so much in these last couple of years — my hat’s off to all of them — and this clip is the perfect example of that.

I couldn’t agree more. I love Fallon, but I can’t help thinking how awesome Brian Williams is, too. I mean, can you imagine Chet Huntley or David Brinkley slow jamming the news? Yeah, me neither.