* College Humor imagines a more modern signing of the Declaration.
* "Me Romney. You HuffPo."
* McSweeney's asks: Glam rocker or U.S. President?
* Are you smarter than a 5-year-old's understanding of American History?
* High school photos of 69 of your favorite politicians.
* Mitt Romney gets some much-needed sexual appeal cred, from The Onion.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin, College Humor, Daily Links, Declaration of Independence, Huffington Post, Mitt Romney
My initial reaction to being asked to watch any more Republican debates is to reach for the Eighth Amendment and seek judicial relief from the cruel and unusual punishment of this interminable campaign season, but lately I've come to consider myself lucky. After all, Newt Gingrich's historical perspective usually costs well into the seven figures, yet here he is, condescending for free…
"Just like Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR, I would be prepared to take on the judiciary," Gingrich said.
Citing Lincoln's criticism of the Dred Scott decision, Gingrich said he had no time for legal experts – including former U.S. attorneys general – who argue his plan would undermine the separation of powers.
"I would suggest to you, actually, as a historian I may understand this better than lawyers," Gingrich said, adding that law schools have "over-empowered lawyers to think that they can dictate to the rest of us."
Hopefully, it's not too contemptuous of Gingrich's superior learning to point out that Andrew Jackson's confrontation with the Justice Marshall and the Supreme Court was precipitated by the president's policy of Indian removal and wholesale ethnic cleansing of several Native American tribes, in violation of treaty obligations. And Franklin Roosevelt's "court packing" scheme is usually not held up as the finest moment in American constitutionalism. So giving Gingrich the benefit of the doubt, I assume we're going to go the Lincoln route and impose martial law within the catchment of the 9th Circuit Court, until those liberal activist judges stop being so
But I know the real surprise here isn't the brilliant historical exposition, but the modesty of Gingrich comparing himself to only four of our country's most famous leaders…
Newt Gingrich, ahead in the polls and facing withering criticism from his own party, compared himself to Ronald Reagan in the last debate among the GOP presidential contenders before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.
Still, only five! What a blessed relief from the "arrogant" former constitutional law professor in the White House.
Photo by Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Debates, Franklin Roosevelt, Iowa, Judiciary, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, Supreme Court
How many times have you told yourself, "I'd gladly learn about all 43 of our nation's presidents — even duds like Millard Fillmore and George H.W. Bush — if only someone would write indie rock songs about them?"
Well get cracking, hipster, because a trio of songwriters have done just that– in the form of their new triple CD "Of Great and Mortal Men"…
While some of the first 43 [presidents] have become larger-than-life figures, others are all but forgotten. But songwriters Christian Kiefer, Jefferson Pitcher and Matthew Gerken, with the help of many stalwarts of indie rock, look to shed light on the lives and quirks of these men. They've composed original songs and music in a new collection called Of Great and Mortal Men, which features 43 songs spanning three CDs and more than 220 years of American history.
Kiefer, Pitcher and Gerken — largely unknown even in indie rock circles– have enlisted the help of slightly more famous musicians to bring their songs to life.
So if you've always wanted to hear Smog's Bill Callahan sing about John Quincy Adams, the band Califone rock out for Andrew Jackson and Jimmy Carter, or Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek croon over Harry Truman… Well now you can. (You'll have to buy the album if you want to know who plays on the Rutherford B. Hayes song.)
That's 43 songs to honor 42 presidents. (Grover Cleveland gets two, one for each useless term he served.) And then don't forget there's one more song to come after Election Day…
As for the 44th, the songwriters say they'll write one more song and post an MP3 sometime after Nov. 4.
Depending on who wins, that might not be necessary. If it's Ron Paul via write-in, his passionate supporters will no doubt be happy to contribute 2 to 400 dozen rousing paeans of their own.
And if John McCain wins, he could make history as the first president on the compilation to personally perform his own theme song.
Tags: Andrew Jackson, Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, Grover Cleveland, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Rutherford B. Hayes