An Appalling Spectacle




When it comes to the concept of Executive Privilege, we tend to think of more modern Presidents who are perhaps in trouble (Nixon/Clinton) or just in a tiff with Congress (Obama/Bush). In fact, the whole concept goes back much further, when the first real populist President refused to hand over to Congress a letter he himself had written to explain to his Cabinet why he wanted to withdraw US funds from the 2nd Bank of the United States.

The issue was so divisive, and Jacksons refusal so infuriating to the Senate Leader Henry Clay, that it caused the formation of the Whig Party and led to the idea that a Presidential Election is a referendum on a given policy.

It also made a clear reminder to the US Senate that it was not “Accusers, witnesses, counsel and judges” of a President. And it established the idea that the President has a responsibility to choose advisors and cabinet members that he wants to carry out his policies, not Congress.


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On The Verge of Eternity




After a long public debate in the media, the delegates for New York have arrived in Poughkeepsie to decided if New York will ratify the Constitution. While there is a STRONG Anti-Federalist contingent in the State, there is something else going on. Governor George Clinton is the leading opponent of ratification but even he is beginning to understand that the very purpose of the Constitution supersedes the arguments against its ratification. After Massachusetts and Virginia ratify, it is beginning to dawn on New York that going it alone is an untenable position.

At the convention, Melancton Smith will be the primary speaker for the Anti-Federalist position. He is most likely the author of numerous Anti-Federalist papers, including the “Letters from a Federal farmer.” He is a simple man, a country farmer, not as well polished as Hamilton but he is focused (unlike Hamilton), polite (unlike Hamilton) and he is of “a gentle, liberal, and amiable disposition” (unlike Hamilton). He is so persuasive that the issue in New York is never really in doubt.

The biggest problem now is that the ground has shifted. While the numbers are clearly in favor in the Anti-federalist position, the realization is dawning on the Delegates that New York may have waited too long to ratify. The realization that the only way to get what the amendments that they “require” for ratification, is to be able to send delegates to the new Congress. The realization is dawning that only way to keep New York together is to ratify.

Melancton Smith, the man who will try to broker an acceptable system of ratification, realizes that despite their numbers, Hamilton is right. Not Ratifying is no longer an option. Clinton is furious at him, but at the end of the day, even the future Vice President has to accept what Melancton Smith has accepted – the Ben Franklin cartoon drawn all those years ago still applies. Join or Die. 

And on the verge of eternity, New York ratifies the Constitution…


Supervolcano facts and information

Though supervolcanoes like Yellowstone pose real dangers, their threats are often misunderstood and greatly exaggerated.

Source: Supervolcano facts and information

SUPERVOLCANOES ARE LIKE the supervillains of the geologic world, as stories of their looming threat grow ever more exaggerated. Though massive eruptions do pose real dangers, misconceptions about them abound.

According to the United States Geological Survey, a volcano is considered “super” if it has had at least one explosion that released more than 240 cubic miles of material—a little more than twice the volume of Lake Erie. That places it at a magnitude of eight, the highest ranking on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, or VEI, which is used to measure the explosiveness of an eruption.

These are very large eruptions, the impacts of which would be widespread—from avalanches of hot rock and gasses racing down the volcano’s flanks to global changes in climate. But there’s an important caveat about supervolcanoes that most people commonly overlook: Just because a volcano has had a super-eruption once or even twice in its past doesn’t mean its future eruptions will be just as big.

Getting Some Mammoth




I’m sorry. There will be no discussion here of the “Topic A” story that everybody is melting down over. It’s not that I don’t have an opinion about it, but I pretty well said everything that I believe can be said about it yesterday. No doubt there will be a return to it, necessitated by events and attitudes. But for today, I have zero interest in a story that is entirely manufactured and spun into gossamer threads of left and right.

So what do I want to talk about it? I guess you should just push that button and find out… (Hint: It has to do with Mammoths, Thomas Jefferson, The US Navy, Cheese, and Religion)


THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!! Or Not…




Once again, the grand pronouncements have proven to be as empty as a weather report promising rain which could have washed away my arch-nemesis, the Atomic Pollen. I’ve said this so many times that it’s going stale. I said it during the 2016 Campaign when people posted “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING” articles and memes from borderline obscure websites that Hillary Clinton was Satan or Muslim or had an illegal server in her downstairs bathroom closet. I said it when Devin Nunes’ Cow announced that his self-written FBI memo was “GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING!

After a seeming eternity of arguments, debates, promises, and threats, the Mueller Report changes nothing. Because – and I say this with love – unless you had a video of Putin handing Trump a big-ole-bag-o-cash and then punting a puppy of the Brooklyn Bridge, you had nothing. You didn’t. And you don’t.

For those of you who are celebrating, if you think that this is all over, you’re not paying attention. At. All.

Meanwhile, we’re back to the big issues that actually matter. Congress wants a pay rise. But they are deeply concerned that if they go and vote themselves a whacking pay rise you will be upset and maybe not love them as you do now.

I’m serious. They are, like, working really… like, really hard and stuff. They don’t even have time to buy a chair! Oh.. there are also questions about that pesky Constitution thingee… you know… how the 27th Amendment it says no pay rises until there’s been an election? Isn’t that an issue here?

Like anything else, that changes nothing…


Take Care




Benjamin Harrison barely registers a twitch on the needle of “Famous Presidents.” He wasn’t a particularly successful President, even though he had a Party Majority in both Houses of Congress. Somehow or another, things just… didn’t get done.

There were however at least two things that should make him more appreciated. First, he was the driving force behind the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Of course, he also appointed the Supreme Court Justices who would help to gut the legislation, and he never held any of the Congressmen who voted FOR it accountable for its enforcement. So while its remnants are still on the books today, it wasn’t the Trust-busting panacea it was supposed to be when he signed it. Continue reading

Warships in Nebraska

laststandonzombieisland

It’s odd to find a submarine or a minesweeper out on the Great Plains but such an example exists at Omaha, Nebraska’s Freedom Park which has long had custody over the old WWII-era (3 Battle Stars) Admirable-class minesweeper USS Hazard (AM-240)and the downright cute Cold War-era T-1-class training submarine USS Marlin (SST-2) since 1971 and 1974, respectively.

Typically high and dry hundreds of miles from blue water, they are now seemingly ready to set sail once more as the Missouri River has crested.

(Nati Harnik/AP)

Hopefully, the water will not get too high there. The park closed as a result of flooding along the Missouri River in 2011 and took four years of restoration and cleanup work to reopen.

From Freedom Park: “We learned much from 2011, & had many discussions of what to do if; so with hi-water predicted again, precautions were done today, in minimum…

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