Along with the Situation Room photo during the bin-Laden raid, the picture released in Newtown last night by the family of Emilie Parker, who was 6, will be remembered as one of the iconic moments of the Obama presidency: 

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White House proposes no paychecks or healthcare benefits for Congress or the President until a deal on the fiscal cliff is reached. Do the President and lawmakers really need their salaries anyway? What they make and what they're worth: 

  • President and Mrs. Obama: net worth $6 million (Forbes estimate); salary $400,000
  • Average net worth in member of the Senate: $13.1 million (2010 estimate by Open Secrets.org);  salary $174,000
  • Average net worth in the House: $5.9 million (2010 estimate by Open Secrets.org);  salary $174,000

 

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Yes, that's President Obama on Twitter, the White House says. (White House Photo: Pete Souza)

                                  

 

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At the Kennedy Center Honors, high level BFF (Ron Sachs/Pool/Getty Images) 

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December 1, 1824: “The Corrupt Bargain” - John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson 

It wasn’t even close. Andrew Jackson (you know him from the $20 bill) crushed John Quincy Adams, the son of our second president John Adams, in both the popular vote (41% to 31%) and in the electoral college (99 to 84). Yet Adams won. How could Adams lose both popular vote and electoral college – yet win the White House?

Unfortunately for “Old Hickory,” as Jackson was known, there were two other men on the presidential ballot in 1824. William Crawford of Georgia, who received 41 electoral votes, and Henry Clay of Kentucky, who got 37. Because the four men together received 271 electoral votes, Jackson had a plurality but not a majority of the votes. 136 were needed.

It was up to the House. Because the 12th Amendment to the Constitution said only the top three presidential candidates could be considered by the House, Clay was out. Clay threw his support to Adams, and on Feb. 9, 1825, the House gave Adams 138 electoral votes, Jackson 71 and Crawford 51. John Quincy Adams – loser of both the popular vote and, at first, the electoral college – would become the sixth president of the United States. 

Now, a story like this can’t be told without a little dirt. After all, it’s presidential politics. Just before the results of the House election became public, an anonymous letter appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper. Said to be from a member of Congress, it accused Clay of selling his support to Adams, if Adams made Clay Secretary of State. Jackson and his supporters were outraged over what they called “the corrupt bargain.” Clay did indeed become Secretary of State in the Adams administration.

But be careful what you wish for. John Quincy Adams hated being president. He called it the “four most miserable years of my life.” One reason: he was hounded at every turn by Jackson and his supporters. In 1828, both would clash again, when Adams sought re-election. This time, Jackson got his revenge, crushing Adams in both the popular vote and winning a majority of the electoral college. Adams (like George W. Bush, the son of a president), later spent 17 years in Congress, the only president to do so after leaving the White House.

-Paul Brandus


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Nov. 28, 2012

CEOs meeting with President Obama today:           

          Frank Blake, Chairman and CEO, The Home Depot

          Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs Group
·         Joe Echeverria, CEO, Deloitte LLP
·         Ken Frazier, President and CEO, Merck and Co.
·         Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, Coca Cola
·         Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President, and CEO, Macy’s Inc.
·         Marissa Mayer, CEO and President, Yahoo!
·         Douglas Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar
·         Ian Read, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer
·         Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast
·         Ed Rust, Chairman and CEO, State Farm Insurance Co.
·         Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott
·         Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T
·         Patricia Woertz, President and CEO, Archer Daniels Midland

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November 19, 2012

The Only Photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg?

This photo (cropped, the full version is below) found in the National Archives in 1952 by Josephine Cobb, the chief of the Still Photo divison, is believed to be the only photograph of President Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg, where he  later gave his Gettysburg Address - arguably the most famous speech by a President of the United States - on this day in 1863. It was taken by Matthew Brady, the famed Civil War photographer. 

Lincoln, who made the trip from Washington to speak at the dedication of a National Cemetery in the Pennsylvania town, site of the bloodiest and most momentous conflict of the Civil War. Over a three day period, from July 1 to July 3, 1863, some 46,286 Union and Confederate troops would be killed, wounded or go missing. The battle stopped the advance of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and marked the turning point of the war. 

In Lincoln's characteristic eloquence and brevity, he explained why the war was being waged. He emphasized the principles of human equality and said the Union would be preserved with "a new birth of freedom." 

 

"Four score and seven years ago," Lincoln began, referring to the 87 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed during the Revolutionary War, "our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

The President continued: 

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on the great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave  their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this." 

"But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 

 

 

 

 

 

Jul
23

1885: The death of Ulysses S. Grant...

WWR on the go, coming soon