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Paul Brandus: Author 4 books, speaker 7 presidential libraries. Columnist: USA Today, Dow Jones/MarketWatch. Ex: Moscow, NBC, CNBC.
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24 Nov
The last president to own slaves while in office - Zachary Taylor - was born this day in 1784. Known as "Old Rough and Ready" for his 40-year Army career, he died 16 months into his term, probably of gastroenteritis. Second of eight presidents to die in office
48 hours a widow, Jacqueline Kennedy shows her children their father's coffin - this day 1963. Caroline thought it too small. Moments later, they emerged onto the North Portico - it was believed that no individual in history had ever been seen as much as Jackie was at that moment
This Day, 1963: Some think the killing of presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald proves a conspiracy. What they ignore: Oswald asked to go back for his sweater; in those 2-3 minutes, Jack Ruby arrived. Had Oswald not wanted his sweater, Ruby would have been too late (more)
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23 Nov
He is regarded as one of he worst presidents: Franklin Pierce, born this day in 1804. Serving from 1853-57, he suffered politically after backing repeal of the Missouri Compromise on slavery (more)
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A 2017 @CSPAN survey of historians ranked Pierce the 3d worst (or 41st best if you're so inclined) President.
His personal life was tragic. All three of his sons died young, including one in a horrific train wreck that nearly killed Pierce (then president-elect) and wife Jane
In a move that strengthened prenatal care in the U.S., Warren Harding signed the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act - this day in 1921. Congress and the president acted after learning that about 80% of American women did not receive proper care when pregnant
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23 Nov
Missing from Nov. 22, 1963: Jacqueline Kennedy's pink pillbox hat. She flung it down during the frantic race to Parkland Hospital (tearing out a tuft of hair) and it changed hands a few times that chaotic afternoon. Last seen the next morning in the White House Map Room (more)
WWR's Paul Brandus has spoken with every living person who handled the hat that day - including Jackie's Secret Service Agent Clint Hill (seen in Zapruder Film), and her personal secretary Mary Gallagher. No one seems to know, or will say, where it is
You may also be surprised to know that the 1961 Lincoln Continental (X100) that President Kennedy was murdered in was cleaned up, refurbished, armored and put back into service. Used by four more presidents. Here: President and Mrs. Nixon
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22 Nov
Incredible and rarely seen photo: 30 seconds from death, President Kennedy reaches for the back of his head to pat down his hair - the arrow shows the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository cracked open. This day, 1963 Image
The Kennedy assassination produced three of the 20th century's most iconic photos - all instantly recognizable and none needing elaboration Image
What most don't know about the Kennedy assassination is that Lyndon Johnson - president just 12 hours - was nearly shot himself outside his Washington home; LBJ had gone out for some fresh air, and jittery Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine was a split-second away from firing
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17 Oct
Abraham Lincoln, a former one-term Congressman and lawyer, condemned slavery - this day in 1854 - during a speech criticizing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which Congress had passed five months earlier. The future president bitterly criticized it. saying slavery was “immoral.” (more)
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The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed two new territories—Kansas and Nebraska—to join the United States, with the citizens of each given the power to determine whether slavery would be allowed or disallowed
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Abolitionists like Lincoln hoped to convince lawmakers in the new territories to ban slavery. He believed the law went against the founding American principle that “all men are created equal.” He was determined to outlaw the spread of slavery but worried it could lead to war
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15 Oct
Mini-Thread:
Not sure why folks are surprised that Trump could peddle his disgusting and sick - and those are the words - theory about SEAL Team 6 and the 2011 Bin Laden raid. Trump is a manufacturer par excellence of fake news and assorted garbage:
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Trump's sick theories cont.
-Puerto Rico death toll fake
-Mail balloting is fraudulent
-Cruz's Dad in on JFK murder
-Obama born Kenya
-Obama linked to Orlando nightclub massacre
-Vaccines = autism
-Climate change a Chinese hoax
(more)
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Trump's sick theories cont.
-Vaccines = autism
-Climate change a Chinese hoax
-400-lb guy might have meddled - not Putin
-Millions of illegals voted in 2016
-he saw 1000s of Muslims in NJ celebrating 9/11
-Clintons in on deaths of Vince Foster & Jeffrey Epstein
...Ad nauseam
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15 Oct
One of our greatest presidents: Dwight D. (“Ike”) Eisenhower - born this day in 1890. The 34th president, he served 1953-61. The last of 12 generals to become president (more) Image
A 2017 @cspan survey of historians ranked Eisenhower the 5th greatest president. His greatest quality: "Moral Authority" (4th); worst: "Vision/Setting an Agenda" (16th - still very good) Image
President Eisenhower’s grave in his hometown of Abilene, Kansas (and First Lady Mamie). His presidential library/museum are worth a visit. Great privilege for WWR's Paul Brandus to have lectured there (Photo/WWR) Image
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4 Oct
Trump's doctor (Conley) acknowledges withholding important info about the president's condition yesterday - because he wanted to maintain an "upbeat attitude." He admits his answers "came off that we were trying to hide something"
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It's not like the info Conley deliberately omitted Saturday was insignificant: It concerned alarming drops in the President's oxygen levels. Says it happened twice; he won't say how low Trump's oxygen levels dropped. Also wouldn't comment on possible lung damage
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While Trump's doctor wouldn't say how low the president's oxygen levels fell, chief of staff Meadows. on Fox, said those levels "dropped rapidly." He claims Trump has made "unbelievable improvements" from Saturday
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3 Oct
It's a privilege (and thrill!) for WWR's Paul Brandus to have followers in 172 countries - thank you so much. Where in the world are you, and what are you doing? Will give you a shoutout on this Saturday (or Sunday, depending on where you are)
@Ricketts382 (Michigan)
@ParanoidBanoid (Albania)·
@Opheliaisntdead (Italy)
@justicedesserts (Windsor, Ontario)
@bgbowen45 (“in Canada”)
@Adam__Ferguson (Northern Ireland)
@BLKGirlFound (Paris)
@Whenadooropens (“right smack in the middle of the USA)
Hello! And thank you -Paul
@FightRooskies (DC)
@cbergantino20 (Fla. Gulf Coast)
@JesseBeatty ("Home state of 38")
@blustabensuppe (Germany)
@OddSocksAlex (England, knitting socks)
@lechatsavant (Ohio)
@kodix (Madrid)
@snowkidind (“Southeast Asia”)
Hello! And thank you -Paul
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3 Oct
This Day, 1789: The first presidential proclamation. George Washington, at the request of Congress, designated November 26 as a day of national Thanksgiving. Here's how it appeared in newspapers:
President Lincoln with his on-again, off-again commander of the Army of the Potomac: Gen. George McClellan. Antietam, this day, 1862
Some presidents are thin-skinned and lack a sense of humor. One president who was NOT like this was Harry Truman. Cartoonists made fun of him all the time; the man from Independence knew that just went with the job. Here he jokes with them - this day in 1949
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3 Oct
A delicate matter:
What were to happen if the president - for whatever reason - could no longer fulfill his duties? It's frankly a mess - a situation that we have never been in before. Here is a mini-thread:
1) the candidate's party, in this case the Republican Party, would have to quickly name a replacement to run for president. Presumably that would be VP Pence.
2) but many people have already voted, many ballots have already gone out - and they show Pence to be the VP candidate
3/ Legally there would presumably be quite a ruckus over what to do about ballots that say "Mike Pence for VP." Maybe some states would allow such ballots to be counted, others, perhaps not. It is an extraordinary situation
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2 Oct
661,000 jobs restored to economy in September; unemployment rate falls to 7.9%. Broader unemployment rate: 12.8%.
This morning's jobs report was the last before Election Day - it shows that only half of all jobs lost thus far during the pandemic have been recovered. There are still nearly 11 (eleven) million jobs that remain lost
1) Trump inherited an unemployment rate of 4.7%
2) Americans will vote with it at 7.9%
3) broader U-6 unemployment rate preferred by many economists: 12.8%. Image
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2 Oct
President and Mrs. Trump have each tested positive for coronavirus - and are in White House quarantine. A stunning development that will have major implications for the presidential race (more)
Trump, who has repeatedly said that case numbers would go down if fewer tests were conducted - was tested immediately after news broke that a top assistant, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus. She was with the president Wednesday in Minnesota
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Trump, 74, is of the age that is most vulnerable to those with coronavirus. Particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions. Still unexplained is Trump’s sudden visit to Walter Reed - the military hospital in Maryland late last year
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30 Sep
This day, 1938:
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain thought he had secured peace with Adolf Hitler when he signed the now infamous Munich agreement with the Nazi leader. The lesson for policymakers ever since: Appeasement does not work
John F. Kennedy ordered Mississippi officials to enroll a black student, James Meredith, in the University of Mississippi - this day in 1962. But the desegregation order was resisted by Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett (more)
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"I shall do everything in my power to prevent integration in our schools," Barnett vowed. The governor was held in contempt by the Dept. Justice. President Kennedy federalized the state’s National Guard and sent in U.S. Marshals to enforce his order
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29 Sep
The debate that changed the presidency forever: The first Nixon-Kennedy showdown in 1960. That's Howard K. Smith - one of the great journalists of the 20th century - moderating
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1976: Gerald Ford's claim that the Soviet Union did not dominate Eastern Europe was a severe blunder; Carter pounced #Debate
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1980: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Ronald Reagan asked Americans. For most, the answer was no. The challenger toppled President Carter in a landslide #Debate
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28 Sep
Mini-Thread
Many folks seem to be focusing on some of the more embarrassing aspects of the Times tax story - like how much he wrote off on hair styling, etc. The president's creditors are the principal issue here. A personal story may help put this in context:
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Many years ago, in a prior life, I went to work for the U.S. government—at the American Embassy in Moscow. During a background check, among the many things that were investigated were my personal finances
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You cannot have people with serious financial problems working in sensitive government jobs for the simple reason that such problems expose them to possible compromise by others
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27 Sep
With war looming in Europe, Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler appealing for peace - this day in 1938. FDR was worried about German threats to invade a part of Czechoslovakia called the Sudentenland (more)
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Hitler scoffed publicly at FDR’s letter—but soon did exactly what Roosevelt feared: take over the Sudentenland, and in March 1939 all of Czechoslovakia itself. World War II, already underway in Asia, would officially begin in Europe six months later
The Warren Commission report on the assassination of President Kennedy was made public - this day in 1964. It said that a lone gunman, 24-year old Lee Harvey Oswald, was solely responsible for the president's murder (more)
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26 Sep
The biggest - and deadliest - military operation in American history began this day in 1918: Meuse-Argonne. Over a million U.S. troops participated; 26,000+ were killed and there were 120,000+ casualties. @realDonaldTrump has reportedly called those killed "suckers" and "losers" Image
The event that changed the presidency forever - this day in 1960 - when VP Richard M. Nixon and Sen. John F. Kennedy met for the first of four TV debates (more) Image
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People hearing the Chicago debate on the radio thought Nixon, the incumbent VP, won. But on TV Nixon, who had been ill, was sweating and looked bad. Meantime, Kennedy, who had flown in from Calif., had a healthy tan and was perceived by viewers as being healthy and attractive Image
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26 Sep
1) One way to control the Supreme Court for long periods of time? Appoint younger justices.
2) Avg. age of justices when appointed by Repub presidents: 50 (not counting Barrett, who is 48)
3) Avg. age of justices when appointed by Democratic presidents: 53 (Ginsburg was 60)
(cont.)
A second Trump term could see him get a FOURTH conservative Supreme Court justice - given that the oldest justice now, liberal Clinton appointee Stephen Breyer, is 82. (Breyer has no serious health issues and has said he has no plans to retire)
An example of how long a justice can stick around: Clarence Thomas - appointed by Bush HW in 1991 - has been on the court 29 years, but is still only 72, and has not expressed any desire to retire. He could pass the longest serving justice ever: William O. Douglas (1939-1975)
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23 Sep
Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation - this day in 1862. Following the Confederate defeat at Antietam—which the president hoped was a turning point in the war, he made the proclamation public (more) Image
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The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Confederate or contested areas of the South. But slaves in non-Confederate border states and in parts of the Confederacy under Union control were not included. It took effect on Jan. 1, 1863
Some folks think "Juneteenth" is the oldest regular U.S. celebration of the end of slavery. Actually, the first such celebration occurred in Gallipolis, a town in southern Ohio. It took place this day in 1863 - a year after Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation
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20 Sep
Arguably the most important words ever attributed to a President: George Washington’s Farewell Address - this day in 1796 (more) Image
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After nearly eight years in office, Washington - who had been a reluctant president in the first place - decided that he would not accept a third term and would, once and for all, retire to his beloved Mount Vernon (more)
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In one of the most memorable speeches in U.S. history—never delivered as a spoken address but distributed to newspapers—Washington bid the young republic farewell. He cautioned Americans to avoid political infighting, and to avoid permanent alliances with other nations (more)
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