Archive for the ‘POTUS’ Category

I’m Exhausted   5 comments

There are so many things to love about this photograph!

There are so many things to love about this photograph!

Totally, utterly exhausted. And, respectfully, I’m going to ask you to give it a rest.

Please.

I am oh so tired of the senseless, juvenile bickering over the recent election, and its results. I’ve begun to shut down when people start to discuss it. And when I say shut down … I’m walking out of rooms, be they virtual or real. Why?

I’m exhausted.

You don’t know who I voted for. I did vote for President – and have the sticker to prove it – but I have not told one soul who I voted for. Not the elder Mrs M (she hates it when I call her that). Not the passionate MrsMowry. Not my politically active co-workers. No one knows. Oh, some people may think they know … and some will be right. After all, there are only 2 choices (hint: I didn’t vote for a third party candidate).

I was born in a red state, and loved my nearly 22 years there. I then moved to a blue state, and have loved my 38+ years here. Neither location should be taken as an indicator of who I voted for. In America, you see, we have this thing called a secret ballot. My ballot was, and is, a secret. The California Mowrys certainly discussed the election over our family dinners, and I’m pretty sure I frustrated several people with my opinions of both candidates.

So it has always been with me. In Presidential politics, I’m a contrarian.

The year was 1984. I voted in both the primary and general election … voting for Jesse Jackson, and then Ronald Reagan. If you can explain that, congratulations. It still doesn’t give you a clue on who I voted for this year.

Yeah. We voted at this place.

Yeah. We voted at this place.

In 2008, I announced that Hillary Clinton was un-electable. I was right. In 2015, I announced that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were un-electable. I was wrong.

In the run-up to this election, passions ran higher than in any election in my memory. My family even got caught up in it, with snarky comments and insults hurled across Facebook more often than anyone was actually talking to one another. That comfortable anonymity is the problem when social media meets politics, in my humble opinion, and I very much regret that people get caught up in the moment and type before they think. On all sides.

The inflamed rhetoric practiced by both political extremes right now is simply unsustainable. People should have their beliefs. That’s fine. And, I should have the power to walk away from any conversation I feel uncomfortable participating in. These days, that’s just about anything that includes an insult, name calling, or fatalistic rhetoric not backed up with facts.

The rhetoric’s the thing: I believe Hillary made 2 horrible statements that were very important reasons that her candidacy ended in failure:

  1. She chortled about how she was going to put the coal miners of West Virginia out of work, and close down the coal companies. She was positively gleeful about putting citizens out of work. I do understand the environmental benefits that she was prioritizing, but her presentation was positively tone deaf. And blue collar workers did notice that she was not on their side.
  2. The whole “basket of deplorables” episode was similarly unbelievable. She told a significant percentage of voters that they were horrible people. In what reality is that a good political move?

The President-elect made a boatload of horrible statements, of course. Here’s the point that many missed: that was his goal. He ran his campaign without buying a significant amount of media time because he was getting it for free. He was creating an incredible show – just like PT Barnum, as Newt Gingrich said.

VoteI do not care what the other side did this year, last year, or 10 years ago. I do not care what partisan pundits say. If you start a conversation with “Hillary’s a criminal” or “Donald’s unqualified,” then I’m out. We have an outgoing President, who I have supported, and we have a President-elect, who I will support. It’s not my President, right or wrong … but it is my President that deserves and receives my respect. When political issues arise, they get dealt with. When legal issues (God forbid) arise, then they will be dealt with as well. We are a nation of laws, and those are based on our constitution. I trust that system to get it right, in the end, even if it takes some time to work out.

For the record, President-elect Trump is qualified. Here’s why:

  • He is a natural born US citizen,
  • He is over 35 years of age,
  • He has resided in the US for more than 14 years, and
  • He won the electoral college (according to the AP, who tracked each state’s balloting on December 19), as dictated by our constitution. This result will be confirmed on January 6, as dictated by our constitution.

Don’t like how our republic elects our President? Fine, change the constitution.

Just don’t expect me to sign your petition. I support the electoral college, you see … but that’s a debate for another day. Today, I’m exhausted.

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And Still More

The Deplorables Get Their Say

 

Posted December 21, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Voting 2016   Leave a comment

The bigger elections have always had a polling place in a neighbor’s garage, about a dozen houses away.

Not this time. We were consolidated into a larger precinct, and several hundred voters converged on the nearest park to do their duty as a citizen.

I didn’t even have to show an ID. I self-identified, signed in, and got a ballot.

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You Don’t Know How Voting Works

Proving You’re You

First Tuesday After the First Monday in November

Posted November 16, 2016 by henrymowry in California, POTUS

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My President, 2016   4 comments

It’s nearly over.

To the relief of everyone (right?), this Presidential campaign is nearly over. The Wall Street Journal ran a very interesting article a few days ago, illustrating the extreme views we are exposed to on Facebook that are specifically tailored to either conservatives or liberals. Want to see how the other half gets their “news?” Read this: Blue Feed, Red Feed.

Here’s a Facebook exchange I read from some partisans, under a picture of a defaced yard sign. In this exchange, they deplore a lie from one side only to applaud a lie from the other:

HUMAN # 1: This is getting out of hand. I have a friend from out of state who went to Bible study this morning only to be told if Hillary is elected she will force all of the churches to close. REALLY.

HUMAN # 2: That’s just awful.

HUMAN # 3: Think you might be amused so while trick or treating the boy saw a Trump sign in a neighbor’s yard and asked the presumed home owner why he wanted to own women’s ovaries. I think he (the stupid dude in the neighborhood) was made speechless when an 11 yr old read him the riot act over what he perceived from that sign. Never been prouder of the B!

HUMAN # 2:

untitled-1
This is not a political post. Rather, it’s a post about My President. Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote in 2012 prior to that presidential election:

Let me tell you about my President.

He (ed. note: or she!) is, first and foremost, the defender of the Constitution.  He (or she) swears to protect the Constitution when he (or she) takes the oath of office. He (or she) will do whatever it takes for the United States of America to survive.  To thrive.

He (or she) is the Commander-in-Chief, and directs our armed forces.  Hopefully, he (or she) will use them sparingly.  But he (or she) will use them to protect American interests here and abroad.

He (or she) is the head of one entire branch of our government:  the executive branch.  He (or she) is the face of America to the world.

These days, it seems that he (or she) must be a referee, as he (or she) attempts to balance the odious extremities of both parties and work with the Congress to craft the laws that govern our nation.  Today’s rhetoric is not the most spiteful in our country’s history (Lincoln was denounced as a “military dictator … grasping at the power of a despot,” for example.), but today’s political statements are certainly the most insulting and divisive in the memory of most Americans.

I regret that today’s citizens believe they must speak in an extreme fashion in order to be heard.

I regret that today’s presidential candidates feel they must spin their opponent’s statements and implications into a twisted version of “truth” that has little to do with the original statement’s intent.  And many journalists are eager to feed the monster and escalate the statements even more with screaming headlines proclaiming the other guy (ed. note: candidate) a liar, an idiot … well, you’ve seen the headlines.  They look the same to me, whether you’re reading the Huffington Post or the New York Times, Newsmax or the Drudge Report.

I know that I’ll disagree with our next President on many issues.  That’s not really news:  I disagree with everyone, including myself, sometimes.  Disagreement is not the same thing as discourtesy.  Or defamation.  Or destruction.

I don’t know who’s going to win the election on Tuesday.  But, I can tell you this:  he (or she) will be my President.

I hope you vote tomorrow. And, I hope that no matter who wins, you will be supportive of our President.

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My President (2012)

Posted November 7, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Trump’s Mouth   2 comments

Decision 2016This election is far from over.

Today, Trump found a way to indict Hillary while playing to the crowd in a spirited fashion. He’s a grand master at this, and no amount of hysteria from the left has derailed his effectiveness at reaching and motivating the common man to vote for him.

His (possibly) tongue-in-cheek call for President Putin to look for Hillary’s lost emails is simply astonishing to me. The comment is certain to greatly inflame the left and greatly amuse the right. Doesn’t that make for great media coverage?

And isn’t that free media coverage?

Please allow me to say this with great certainty: no one really understands how this man put together the coalition that nominated him. The media and the pollsters have written his obituary many times since this campaign began, and yet he’s the last man standing.

There is no telling what will happen between here and November 8.

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Victor Davis Hanson’s Private Papers: Trump and The Politics of Moral Outrage

Posted July 28, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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The Politics of Charity   2 comments

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he's also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he’s also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Mike Rowe is a favorite media personality of mine. He hosts a show on CNN that’s about the tough jobs … “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” He believes in doing work that’s dirty. He’s a Distinguished Eagle Scout. And, he’s a consummate showman and fundraiser for his non-profit, non-partisan foundation, mikeroweWORKS, that exists to fund scholarships for people getting training in the trades.

Mike Rowe is a big supporter of honest work, where collars are not white, if they exist at all. He’s about to award $600,000 in scholarships. That may not be a dirty job, but it’s certainly an important one.

He regularly auctions off C.R.A.P. to raise funds for the foundation … that’s Collectibles, Rare And Precious, to the uninitiated. He typically finds things in his storage room to auction, and occasionally one of his fans will contribute their skills to, for example, make his faded blue jeans into a purse. He regularly auctions off memorabilia from his shows, such as a warning light globe from the Mackinac Bridge, which was the subject of one of his shows several years ago.

Recently, he mused about auctioning off something from our leading political candidates in this tumultuous season … an autographed bathrobe from the Donald, or a similarly autographed pantsuit from the Hillary. Or something like that.

And a smart campaign worker made one of those ideas happen.

If you know Mike’s work, then you know he is independent. He did not seek one candidate’s contribution over another, and he’s specifically promised that he will auction off a contribution from the other candidate, with all appropriate pomp & circumstance, should they make a contribution. That didn’t stop the boo birds from coming out, though, and his Facebook page has been alive with flames saying “How COULD you?”

He’s doing it for the money to fund more scholarships, and I have no problem with that. Do you?

Want to own your own Trump bathrobe – and support mikeroweWORKS at the same time? The auction is open on ebay until August 1 … and, as I write this, bidding is now over $10,000. You can bid, here.

Posted July 23, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Flags & POTUS   1 comment

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US Flag: Common Display Mistakes

US Flag Code

US Flag: The First

US Flag: The Second

US Flag: The Third

US Flag: The Snake Flags

Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: Flag Day 2016

Posted June 14, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

Choosing A President: 1824   1 comment

John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, after losing the popular vote and losing the electoral college vote.

John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, after losing the popular vote and losing the electoral college vote.

It was chaos.

In our 10th Presidential election, no candidate won a majority of the electoral college vote. In such a situation, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution governs what happens next: when no single candidate gets a majority of the electoral college vote, the election of the President is thrown into the House of Representative, who choose from the top 3 electoral candidates in a single vote. That’s exactly what happened 192 years ago.

We think today’s politics are crazy? Here is what happened in 1824:

The # 2 political party, the Federalist Party, had effectively dissolved, leaving only the Democratic-Republican Party standing. The Democratic-Republican Party had in fact won the last 6 elections for President. Unfortunately, in 1824 the Party could not agree on a single candidate, so they fielded what were essentially 4 regional candidates: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H Crawford & Henry Clay.

Andrew Jackson was the popular favorite, and his group would eventually become what we know today as the Democratic Party. John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay represented a group that would become the National Republican Party (which is not the same thing as today’s G.O.P.).

Andrew Jackson “won” the popular vote – though in this era, not all states even had a popular vote. Rather, some states simply empowered their state legislature to decide how their state’s electoral votes should be cast for President!  Jackson did win 99 of the 261 Electoral College votes. That was the largest number won (with John Q Adams 2nd with 84) … so neither of them won a majority of the electoral votes. In this election, they would have had to have 131 votes to win the Presidency outright.

But they didn’t.

Andrew Jackson, the popular vote winner in 1824, but not President until he won again in 1828.

Andrew Jackson, the popular vote winner in 1824, but not President until he won again in 1828.

So, it was up the the House of Representatives to choose the 6th President of the United States. The Speaker of the House was Henry Clay, who finished 4th in the Electoral College vote and thus was excluded from the Top 3 that the House would choose from. Clay endorsed Adams, and that helped to swing the vote to Adams. The final House tally was Adams 87, Jackson 71 and Crawford 54. Adams was the new President, by a margin of 16 votes in the House.

Adams later appointed Clay to become Secretary of State, which was a rumored deal when Clay first endorsed Adams. Neither Adams nor Clay ever confirmed such a deal existed, but the alleged deal became known as the “Corrupt Bargain” in the press. Jackson railed against this supposed backroom deal throughout Adams’ term, and then unseated him as President in the election of 1828.

John Quincy Adams thus joined his father as the only one-term Presidents in the then-short history of our Republic.

History Repeating In 2016?

Let’s pretend the current front runners, Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton, win their parties’ nominations. However, since they both have very large negative ratings, a movement happens to bring another candidate onto the Presidential ballot in November … let’s nominate the most popular Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine (liked by 78% of her constituents!). Collins promises to nominate prominent politicians into her cabinet, perhaps choosing popular Ohio Governor John Kasich or California Governor Jerry Brown as Vice President. Trump & Clinton run a dead heat of a race, and neither wins 270 electoral votes. If Ms. Collins just won her state’s electoral votes – finishing # 3 overall in the electoral vote of the Presidential race – then the House could choose to elect her over both Trump and Clinton.

That’s not my prediction, mind you, but it could happen!

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Huffington Post: Doomsday Savior?

Wikipedia: United States Presidential Election, 1824

270ToWin:Presidential Election Of 1824

Portrait: John Quincy Adams

The Washington Monument   Leave a comment

Happy President's Day! A 555-foot marble obelisk, the Washington Monument towers over Washington, D.C. Photo by Jeff Norman. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 2/15/16.

Happy President’s Day! A 555-foot marble obelisk, the Washington Monument towers over Washington, D.C. Photo by Jeff Norman. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 2/15/16.

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Wikipedia: Washington Monument

History.com: 5 Things You Might Not Know About The Washington Monument

Posted February 15, 2016 by henrymowry in POTUS

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The Richest Candidate?   Leave a comment

Although some may quibble with the details, here’s a very interesting perspective on the net worth of some of our Presidential candidates, and how they might fit into history.

Time will tell if money really can buy love on the political side of our equation.

personal_growth_net_worth_2x_v04

Sources used by PersonalCapital.com:

The Hill
Politico
Forbes
Open Secrets
The FEC
ABC News
CNN Money
Time Business

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PersonalCapital.com: Net Worth?

InsideGov.com: Richest US Presidents

Posted October 7, 2015 by henrymowry in POTUS

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How To Be Unemployable   3 comments

Bill Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks, from the National Portrait Gallery

Bill Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks, from the National Portrait Gallery

Yesterday, this blog set a record for traffic. One particular page got most of the views: the Bill Clinton page from my Presidential Portraits series.

What happened?

There was big news yesterday about the Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

Mr. Shanks revealed an “Easter egg” in the painting … a 10-year old secret that only he knew until yesterday.

The secret? He had put a blue dress on a mannequin to cast a shadow onto the scene he was painting – all while Clinton was not in the room posing for him. This blue dress shadow, which is memorialized below the plant on the mantle to the viewer’s left of Clinton, represents the Monica Lewinsky scandal to Mr. Shanks.

So, yesterday he revealed why there was a shadow in the painting. This announcement did a few things:

  • explained the reason for a shadow across the portrait (me, I just thought it was art).
  • re-invigorated the Monica Lewinsky scandal for Mr Shanks’ gain
  • made his future employment by any prominent person suspect … I mean, who needs this kind of grief when you’re paying a portraitist as much as $200,000 for a full length painting?

I’m sure President Clinton regrets posing for the obviously untrustworthy Shanks. I don’t know who actually paid for this portrait (paintings of Presidents for the National Portrait Gallery or the White House – the two most prominent collections – are often paid for by anonymous donors), but I’m sure they regret that decision as well.

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Portraits: Bill Clinton

NBC News: Bill Clinton Portrait Has Hidden Monica Lewinsky Portrait

Time.com: Bill Clinton’s Portrait Includes Symbolic Nod To Lewinsky Affair

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