Let’s say you’re a writer, working a novel set in Minneapolis. Your protagonist arrives home after a long day of doing whatever it is your protagonist does all day. To this point, you’ve been very specific with local landmarks and a general feeling of the city — your protagonist rides the 21A, eats breakfast at the Grand Cafe, and meets his or her attorney in an office on the 12th floor of the Rand Tower. All good so far. You’ve set the scene very effectively. People are going to say, “This is a great Minneapolis novel" after they read it. However, the time has now come for you to insert a specific street address into the text. You like specifics, and you need a real-sounding mailing address for, say, a situation where the protagonist receives a mysterious letter. How will you accomplish this? Here you have a problem. You only have two options, neither one very good
. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew
on Jul 31, 2013 -
There was a rivalry between the parties, of course, but in Potter's account, it was more like the rivalry between Cal and Stanford than that between today's Republicans and Democrats. The parties had somewhat different constituencies and pledged fealty to a different set of men, but each attempted to encompass as much of the political spectrum as possible rather than merely half of it. The story of the 1850s, by these lights, is about how this changed.
With reference to David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis
, Adam Cadre surveys the four antebellum presidents. [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Oct 22, 2009 -
McKinley Assassination Ink:
"The goal [...]: to gather the largest possible selection of full-text primary source documents relating to the assassination of William McKinley and the immediate aftermath of that event, including the succession of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency and the incarceration, trial, and execution of [anarchist] assassin Leon Czolgosz."
posted by OmieWise
on Aug 18, 2006 -
"The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment." - James D. St. Clair, arguing before the Supreme Court in 1974.
The court didn't agree
, returning an 8-0 decision and as a result, thirty years ago today Richard Nixon announced his resignation
. The next day at 11:35AM
it became official and Gerald Ford
, the first unelected Vice-President in history was sworn in under the provisions of the 25th Amendment
to the Constitution as the 38th President of the United States.
But what if Nixon had chosen to respond differently? What if he had vowed not to resign
? Article II
of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. Could the Supreme Court really have forced Nixon to comply with their order? What if the President had viewed the Court's order as an attempted coup d'etat
posted by snarfodox
on Aug 8, 2004 -
Medical histories of American Presidents
- Washington "exuded such masculine power as frightens young women just wakening to the opposite sex." Jefferson had all his teeth when he died at 84. Wilson's handshake was described as "a ten-cent pickled mackerel in brown paper." Taft was once laid up for a few days after a bug flew into his eye. Facts & trivia about presidential health.
posted by madamjujujive
on Sep 28, 2003 -
Data Archives from the American Presidency Project
Fascinating statistical data about a variety of subjects, and not just trivia either. Includes data, for example, about Congressional concurrence with the President, number of Presidential vetos, number of first-year requests, etc. Good information for acquiring an overall understanding of our current political situation.
posted by oissubke
on Nov 6, 2002 -
Through rose-tinted spectacles?
It's media waffle for a quiet news day, and comes on the back of a wave of nostalgia, but Reagan's "victory" in this latest poll feels like the triumph of selective memory, and of the desire to reassociate the presidency with jelly-bean eating. (FDR trails in fifth, and there's no mention of Woodrow Wilson, though Carter and Nixon get a look-in.) Which makes me wonder: does the US have a clear sense of its history, as far as Presidents are concerned?
posted by holgate
on Feb 19, 2001 -
Jerry's Ranking of the U.S. Presidents
- Think fast! Who was the better President, Franklin Pierce or John Tyler? Time's up! It's Tyler. Of course, this guy also says that Clinton is better than Lincoln, so I guess that's the problem. Tyler has nothing on Pierce anyways....
posted by tdecius
on Sep 17, 1999 -