Paul Brandus (and on Mastodon) Profile picture
Since 2009. Managed by Paul Brandus (see pinned tweet for his bio and contact info)
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Oct 9, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Working on a new project concerning the electoral college. Worth remembering how delusional @realDonaldTrump is about his win. He claimed it was a “landslide,” in fact, he boasted in a Feb. 2017 news conference, it was “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” /1 /2
.@RealDonaldTrump got 306 electoral votes, the biggest EV win in (drumroll) 4 years. Not since Obama way back in 2012 has a POTUS racked up so many EVs. Obama got 332. In 2008? 365. So if Trump calls his 306 a “landslide,” what does he call Obama’s bigger back-to-back margins?
Oct 7, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
On This Day, 1942: President Roosevelt vowed to try Nazis for war crimes. Learning of atrocities against Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe—the Holocaust—FDR said “the ringleaders responsible for organized murder” would be held accountable /1 Roosevelt died before World War II ended, of course, but the Nuremberg Trials—a series of military tribunals—prosecuted 22 top Nazi officials. Roosevelt was later criticized by some for not doing more to stop the direct extermination of Jews /2
Oct 6, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Age of Supreme Court Justices:
Five conservatives: Avg. age 61, Median age 63
Four liberals: Avg. age 71, Median age 71 You may think that #Kavanaugh replacing Kennedy (who was considered the "swing vote" on the Supreme Court) will result in a major shift to the right. Yet it's worth noting that Kennedy - in the courts last term that ended in June - voted consistently with conservatives /1
Oct 1, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
A commander-in-chief alright: On this day in 1794, President Washington led troops into the field - to put down the so-called "Whiskey Rebellion" - an uprising by Pennsylvania farmers who refused to pay a tax on whiskey /1 /2
The Whiskey Rebellion showed the power and ability of the new federal government to suppress violent resistance to its laws.
Sep 27, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
With war looming in Europe, Pres. Roosevelt wrote to Adolf Hitler on this day in 1938, to express concern about Nazi threats to seize a part of Czechoslovakia called the Sudentenland. Hitler publicly ridiculed FDR, but soon grabbed the Sudentenland -and then Czechoslovakia itself Had Lee Harvey Oswald been able to get a visa to travel to either Cuba or the Soviet Union in the Fall of 1963, he would not have been in Dallas on Nov. 22. Here: his application - on this day in 1963 - to visit Cuba, which was rejected by the Castro regime
Sep 25, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
On This Day, 1894: Grover Cleveland pardoned bigamists, adulterers and polygamists. The move was directed at Mormons who had previously engaged in such activity—considered illegal by the U.S. government
Sep 25, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
Big day on the history front. We'll start in 1789, when President Washington signed the Judiciary Act—creating the Federal Court system. Article III of the Constitution established a Supreme Court, but the authority to create lower federal courts was left to Congress /1 The Judiciary Act established not only the structure and jurisdiction of the federal court system, but also created the position of attorney general.
Sep 21, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
To warm up the crowd ahead of last night's rally in Las Vegas, President Trump selected a conspiracy therorist - who thinks the shooter during last year's Mandalay Bay massacre (58 killed) was ISIS. Actually, it was a 64-year old white guy. Trump said nothing about the killings The conspiracy theorist who (at Trump's request) introduced him in Vegas - a rather sycophantic self-promoting NY-expat with weird hair - kept it classy by telling the crowd that (special counsel) "Mueller's penis is smaller than Trump's." Gosh, how might he know that?
Sep 20, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
Arguably the most important address ever given by a president: George Washington's Farewell Address. Written with the help of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton - and distrubuted to newspapers On This Day in 1796 /1 Washington - who had been reluctant to serve as president in the first place - was exhausted after nearly eight years in office, and wanted nothing more than to retire, once and for all, to his beloved Mount Vernon /2
Sep 18, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
On This Day. 1787: the final draft of the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia, replacing the Articles of Confederation. It devised a system of checks and balances among three separate but co-equal branches of the federal government: executive, legislative and judicial /1 One debate the Founding Fathers had concerned the representation of states: should big states and small states be represented equally—or by size? Their solution: both. States would be represented equally in the Senate—but proportionally in the House of Representatives
Sep 17, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
There is still no indication that Republicans, in the budget for FY 2019 (which begins Oct. 1), will give Trump the taxpayer money he wants for his wall. GOP, in some cases like this, is standing up to him There are 28 months left in Trump's term; given the numerous obstacles - land rights, construction timelines and not least of all lack of money (Trump wants to use billions of your tax dollars) - his dream of a wall seems unlikely to be realized
Sep 13, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
I've had the great honor of speaking at seven presidential libraries. In the Q&A, folks often ask how Trump compares to other presidents. That's obviously a very long and multi-faceted (book length) answer, but he gave a very good example of how he is different today /1 /2 The president today, in a tweet, washed his hands of the deaths of 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico. Leaders cannot just take credit for good things. They must also acknowledge, as Harry Truman did, that the buck stops with them. This is one example of how Trump differs
Sep 13, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
On This Day, 1953. John F. Kennedy, a 36-year old Mssachusetts Senator, married 24-year old Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. They would have four children - losing two - before his assassination a decade later A major security scare - on this day in 1994: a stolen airplane crashed onto the White House grounds in the dead of night—just below the presidential bedroom. The pilot, 38-year old Frank Corder, was killed in the crash /1
Sep 11, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
The president's entire cabinet resigned - with one exception - On This Day in 1841. Officers were angry that John Tyler vetoed a second bill for the establishment of a National Bank of the United States After four New York-bound jets were hijacked, an outraged president launched the federal sky marshalls program. 2001? No - it was Richard Nixon On This Day in 1970. The weeklong hijacking crisis played out in Europe and the Middle East
Sep 11, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
History Thread:
On this September 11, it is factual to note the following about @RealDonaldTrump:
1) on the very day of the attacks, he bragged that the destruction of the World Trade Center meant that he now had the tallest bulding in lower Manhattan
2) @realdonaldtrump claimed - with no evidence - that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11.
3) When reporters pointed out his 9/11 falsehoods, he chose to mock them - notably imitating the NYT's Serge Kovaleski, who has a congenital joint condition
Sep 9, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Heavy rain, like today, is what set a chain of events in motion in the 1920s that nearly led to the collapse of the White House in 1948. The story begins with Calvin Coolidge and ends with Harry Truman /1 President Coolidge, sick of a leaky White House roof, moved out while a third floor was added to the mansion (shown here during construction in 1927). But this new floor was built with a steel frame that was too heavy for the mansion's old wooden frame
Sep 8, 2018 6 tweets 3 min read
Aside from all else this week, the one thing @RealDonaldTrump said that truly effects you were his comments that Social Security and Medicare have been strengthened on his watch. Actually, it's the COMPLETE OPPOSITE: Compared with 2017 estimates, the primary trust fund for Medicare runs out of money three years sooner - while the primary trust fund for Social Security runs out of money one year sooner
Sep 7, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
One of the darkest days in American history - On This Day in 1901 - William McKinley was shot. With three bodyguards in tow, the President attended a reception in Buffalo. Despite security concerns he stood in the open, in a receiving line. Shown: 15 minutes before the attack /1 /2
Well-wishers were told to approach the president with their hands open and empty. But it was a hot day and many held handkerchiefs to wipe their brows. Within minutes, Leon Czolgosz, a 28-year old Polish-American anarchist, approached - his gun hidden in his handkerchief
Sep 6, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
On This Day, 1905: Theodore Roosevelt ended a war between Russia and Japan, getting both to sign the Portsmouth Treaty - which also allowed the U.S. to maintain its own interests in the Far East. TR would win the Nobel Peace Prize the following year On This Day. 1975. An assassination attempt against Gerald Ford. In Sacramento, the president saw a gun pointed at him from two feet away; it was held by Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme—a member of the Manson family. She did not fire; agents subdued her as Ford was hustled away /1
Sep 5, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
The first coast-to-coast TV broadcast - On This Day in 1951 - when Harry Truman gave a speech officially ending America's post-WWII occupation of Japan. CBS said it was seen on 87 stations in 47 markets On This Day. 1957: The face of bigotry. Hazel Bryan, 15, screams at new student Elizabeth Eckford outside Little Rock's Central High School. Eckford, one of the "Little Rock Nine," wanted to enroll in high school - but was blocked by order of Arkansas Gov. Faubus /1
Sep 3, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Two interesting Labor Day stats that may surprise you:
1) for all the talk of the booming jobs market, more people are working only part time now than ever before - even during the near-collapse of the U.S. economy a decade ago (source: U.S. Labor Dept.) Two interesting Labor Day stats that may surprise you:
2) Trump admiministration data acknowledges that the tax cut bill signed nearly a year ago has not put much into your pocket (sources: U.S. Labor Dept., U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis) /2