Notes from around the Human Experience…
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…: Some readers may or may not be familiar with the comic strip Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau. It’s been around since the early 1970’s and we’ve enjoyed it since we were kids and the Doonesbury website has a feature that lets you enjoy strips from every fifth year from the current date.
25 years ago Doonesbury featured GOP Congresswoman Lacey Davenport chairing a meeting about the future of the Republican Party. The GOP had just punted the 1992 elections having their lunch handed to them by Bill Clinton, who routed President George H.W. Bush in the Electoral College. The Republicans also remained the minority in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives, though they did pick up one seat in the Senate and nine in the House.
…The More They Stay The Same: The future of the GOP should be a timely topic now. This time, however, it’s not because they lost the White House, but because they won it. Not only that, the GOP earned a majority in both houses of Congress to boot. A party armed with this mandate should be able to do whatever it damn well pleases, from passing tax reform legislation to a passing a law mandating a national color of socks.
Fly In The Ointment: But instead, we’ve received nothing but a watch party featuring the GOP showing itself – on a scale that is almost beyond comprehension – utterly unable to govern. Not only do they not have a long-term plan for our country, they have not been able to pass the half-wit, top-of-the-head bills they’ve been able to muster.
Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury: Why do we keep them around? It’s a valid question. Not only are they incapable of governing, the GOP hasn’t produced a decent elected president since Eisenhower.
Dry, Technical Matter: Nixon was a crook. Ford, not elected, did good work for us under circumstances the Son of Man would have had a tough time flourishing in. Reagan had his talents but he was the most managed president in history, a precedent whose influence is still felt, to America’s detriment. Bush I meant well but was ineffective, Bush II could not produce a cogent sentence and lied to get us into war. President Trump cares about nothing other than drawing attention to himself, something he is supremely good at.
Shouldn’t There Be A PowerPoint Presentation For This?: Plot the elected GOP presidents since Eisenhower on a graph and you have a line going straight down.
The Bottom Line: As always, we get the government we deserve. We elected, hardly for the first time, lousy leaders and we are getting lousy government. As long as we keep allowing the GOP to stick around, they will.
GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES…AS SOON AS WE FIND SOME DECENT ROADS: America’s first automobile race, a 54-mile jaunt from Chicago to Evanston and back, is held on this date in 1895. The race is won by Frank Duryea, who the year before had, along with his brother, produced the first gasoline-powered internal combustion engine in America.
FunFact: The car was so new the term automobile had yet to come into common usages and The Chicago Times-Hearld, who sponsored the race, referred to the affair a Moto Cycle race.
Of the 89 entries, only six cars showed up due, in part, to a driving snowstorm, which kept the winning time down to 10 hours and 23 minutes.
And So It Begins: Barn Dance, a live music show, debuts on WSM, Nashville on this date in 1925. Now known as The Grand Ole Oprey, it is the longest continuously airing radio show in America.
Hut, Hut, Hike: Ernie Nevers, a running back with the Chicago Cardinals, establishes an NFL record with 40 points in one game on this date in 1929 as the Cardinals defeated the Chicago Bears 40-6 at Wrigley Field. The record still stands and since running backs no longer kick it will stand until someone scores seven touchdowns or kicks 14 field goals in a game.
The Postgame Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: Elsewhere in the NFL that Thanksgiving Day, the Green Bay Packers and Frankford Yellow Jackets played to a 0-0 tie while the New York Giants defeated the Staten Island Stapletons 21-7.
Disco Inferno: The Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston catches fire on this date in 1942, killing 492 people and injuring hundreds more. The building’s authorized capacity was 460 people. The fire started in a basement lounge when some artificial palm trees caught fire.
FunFact: The death toll remains the second highest for a single building fire in American history.
3…2…1…Blastoff: Mariner 4 lifts off for Mars on this date in 1964. Mariner 4 would conduct mankind’s first flyby of another planet the following July, getting as close as 6,118 miles and sending back about two dozen pictures. Contact with Mariner 4 was lost in December 1967 and no one is entirely sure where it is.
Jolly Good: Margaret Thatcher resigns as Britain’s prime minister on this date in 1990, after eleven years in office. Believing she had been betrayed by her fellow members of the Conservative Party, she left 10 Downing Street in tears. She was replaced by John Major and would continue to serve in the House of Commons until retiring in 1992.
Quotebook: The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), 1965 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The US Navy currently has 66 submarines in service.
Today’s Stumper: Who did Margaret Thatcher replace as prime minister of Great Britain? – Answer next time!