History Teaches - June 12

June 12, 1935: Huey Long Makes Senate’s Longest Speech

“I can’t remember back to a time when my mouth wasn’t open whenever there was a chance to make a speech.” ~Huey Long

On June 12, 1935 Louisiana . . . → Read More: History Teaches – June 12

Sunday Talks - June 12, 2011

This week’s must-watch Sunday talk is Meet the Press with David Gregory on NBC.  He hosts the nation’s two major party leaders in what the network is billing as a rare televised debate covering the increasingly . . . → Read More: Sunday Talks – June 12, 2011

History Teaches - June 11

June 11, 1985: Karen Ann Quinlan dies

In April 1975, Quinlan fell unconscious after coming home from a party where she reportedly drank alcohol and took drugs. She lapsed into a persistent vegetative state after . . . → Read More: History Teaches – June 11

Friday Talking Points [169] -- Weiner Roast

Having just gotten back from a trip abroad where the news was dominated by the story of a politician facing severe consequences (and the end of his political career) for his sexual misconduct, I opened up the pages of the American news to find… well, pretty much the same thing.

While France digests the criminal trial of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, back home in America John Edwards is also slouching towards a courtroom, in a desperate bid to retain his legal license by beating the rap on campaign finance charges — and that was the minor political sexual misconduct story of the past week or so.

The major political sexual scandal was a full-blown weenie roast. Or, to be more accurate, a Weiner roast. This is technically not exactly the same thing as a wiener roast, but it certainly is close enough for the late-night comedian in all of us, right? The word “wiener” is an American bastardization of wienerwurst, German for Vienna sausage. The vulgar slang definition came later, of course. Anthony Weiner spells his last name differently, and it probably should properly and Germanically be pronounced as “whiner,” but (as previously stated) this is still close enough for everyone in the headline-writing business. Perhaps I’m overexplaining this, which you can chalk up to the fact that I confess to being sensitive about the whole “ei” versus “ie” thing, for obvious reasons (like the fact that when I set up my website I had to register “chriswiegant.com” along with the correct spelling, so that everyone could still find it).

Speaking of blogging, yesterday was my fifth anniversary doing so, after being invited to post on the Huffington Post way back when (you can decide for yourself whether I’ve gotten any better at it, by reading my first column).

This is a pretty rambling intro to the column this week, for which I apologize. I’ve been overseas and so haven’t done one of these Friday Talking Points columns in three weeks, and if truth be told I am still pretty jetlagged, so today’s offering will likely be a bit flaky around the edges. Flakier than normal, I should say.

Speaking of flaky, I see that Newt Gingrich’s entire campaign structure just walked out on him. Poor Newtie! It’ll be interesting to see if any of the other Republican contenders brings this up in the upcoming second Republican debate next week, won’t it? I mean, having your campaign manager quit is one thing, but having over a dozen guys follow him out the door is a whole other ball of wax. Oh, well, maybe Newt will still sell some books — which increasingly seems to be the real reason he jumped into the campaign in the first place. Continue reading Friday Talking Points [169] — Weiner Roast

Palin Lashes Out Against 'Grammatical Elites'

Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, launching a preemptive strike against her critics ahead of this afternoon’s release of approximately 24,000 e-mails from her abbreviated tenure in office, railed against what she described as “the Grammatical Elites who only look to dump on others because of how they write.”

The much-anticipated document drop, described by Juniper Toomey (an Alaska state official who spoke on condition of anonymity) as “Wikileaks Meets the Weekly Reader“, resulted from numerous Freedom of Information Act requests initially challenged by the grammatically challenged former governor.  Palin – who according to staffers was obsessive about her privacy – successfully challenged initial FOIA requests claiming that correspondence sent from her personal e-mail account, as opposed to her official state e-mail account, were not the property of the state and therefore not subject to FOIA regulations.

Not to be deterred, those requesting the information – who Ms. Palin herself conceded were “smart little devils and just clever as the dickens” – then requested e-mails sent by the then ‘Mama Grizzly Gov.’ to the official e-mail accounts of other state employees, which are, of course, accessible under FOIA. Continue reading Palin Lashes Out Against ‘Grammatical Elites’

Remembering Clara


Before Woolworth, there was Katz.

Katz Drug store was like many such establishments in the 1950s. Besides being a place to get your prescriptions filled, it had a lunch counter where patrons could sit down, get out of . . . → Read More: Remembering Clara

History Teaches - June 10

June 10, 1752: Go fly a kite!

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

On a stormy June afternoon in Philadelphia, Ben Franklin decided to fly a kite and conduct an . . . → Read More: History Teaches – June 10

History Teaches - June 9

Philadelphia Spelling Book

June 9, 1790: The Philadelphia Spelling Book receives first US copyright

The first copyrighted work, The Philadelphia Spelling Book by John Barry, was registered ten days after Congress passed, and President George Washington signed, the . . . → Read More: History Teaches – June 9

History Teaches - June 8

June 8, 1945: Executive Order 9568

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman

In an . . . → Read More: History Teaches – June 8

Reagan & Bush Tax Cuts and the Theft of Your Money

Adam Zyglis Cartoon

Its’ the 10th Anniversary of the Bush Tax Cuts, seems like the perfect day to get down to what’s really been going on with taxes. When I . . . → Read More: Reagan & Bush Tax Cuts and the Theft of Your Money