george washington Portrait of George Washington (1732–99) stuart gilbert.png

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The change in nomenclature, from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day, confuses and diminishes the celebration of the birthdays of both George Washington and all the presidents the increased inclusiveness meant to honor.

Well-meaning I’m sure. But a singular failure.

Let’s return the celebration to the simple single, George Washington’s day.
It means something tangible.
A portrait that reminds us.
A recitation of individual events that bring homage to the man.
A rallying around.
A patriotic exuberance.


Only Abraham Lincoln would have a gripe.
Only he approaches the level of leadership displayed by Washington.
Only he and George served at equally critical moments in our history.

So let’s add the Tuesday following a refocused Washington’s Birthday to the list of national holidays, and celebrate a focused Lincoln’s Birthday as well.
A day each to celebrate our two greatest Presidents.
Remembering each enthusiastically.

Not shrugging the day off as we do now.
“Oh, yeah. ‘Presidents’ Day.’
"Yippee!”
William Henry Harrison, served 31 days and died in office.
”Wow!”
Succeeded by Vice-President John Tyler who could not achieve a major party nomination for an elected term and passed into obscurity.
”Yes!”
Warren Harding and the Teapot Dome scandal.
”Three cheers!”
Don’t forget Richard ‘Watergate’ Nixon whom we don’t have to kick around anymore.
”Ok!”
Not.

Scholars and enthusiasts alike believe this portrait of Abraham Lincoln, taken on November 8, 1863, eleven days before his famed Gettysburg Address, to be the best photograph of him ever taken. Lincoln’s character was notoriously difficult to capture in pictures, but Alexander Gardner’s close-up portrait, quite innovative in contrast to the typical full-length portrait style, comes closest to preserving the expressive contours of Lincoln’s face and his penetrating gaze.

Scholars and enthusiasts alike believe this portrait of Abraham Lincoln, taken on November 8, 1863, eleven days before his famed Gettysburg Address, to be the best photograph of him ever taken. Lincoln’s character was notoriously difficult to capture in pictures, but Alexander Gardner’s close-up portrait, quite innovative in contrast to the typical full-length portrait style, comes closest to preserving the expressive contours of Lincoln’s face and his penetrating gaze.

Let’s go back to naming the holiday after flesh and blood.

Let’s celebrate the two people who had the greatest impact on our great society.

Two days.
We can get into two days.
Pump up the volume.

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Tagging Today
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

chowder diver scallop and clam.png
_______________________________________ Tick Tock photo and this caption:   313 posts to date. Today we’re at the 6.26% mark of my commitment, the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.  5,000 posts will take 13.69 years, taking me to a new phase of my life. Will see thirteen “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7.”  Starting yesterday.  This shoulder calendar features a panoply of weather conditions, from stormy winter to lovely spring, the latter somewhat rare.  The most important takeaway this shoulder calendar is to avoid delusional expectations. Accept that rarely will we see a mild day. If we get one, hoorah! But, basically, accept that for a while yet we will be dressing for wintry weather.   Tick Tock. In clock language: Enjoy today.

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Tick Tock photo
and this caption:

313 posts to date.
Today we’re at the 6.26% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.

5,000 posts will take 13.69 years, taking me to a new phase of my life.
Will see thirteen “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7.”
Starting yesterday.

This shoulder calendar features a panoply of weather conditions, from stormy winter to lovely spring, the latter somewhat rare.

The most important takeaway this shoulder calendar is to avoid delusional expectations.
Accept that rarely will we see a mild day.
If we get one, hoorah!
But, basically, accept that for a while yet we will be dressing for wintry weather.

Tick Tock.
In clock language: Enjoy today.

My 313th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.

Time is 12.01am.
On Tuesday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 31* with a feels-like temperature of 24* under sunny skies.

Dinner is Scallop and Clam Chowder.

















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Question of the Day
The Teapot Dome scandal?

You don't. You get down from a duck.

You don't. You get down from a duck.

_________________________Elephant jokes to tell at a bar:
How do you get down from an elephant?




 









 















_______________________________
Love your notes.
Contact me at existentialautotrip@hotmail.com

This from Tommie Toner in South Carolina, where the seasons are a little bit ahead of Boston’s.
Referring to post that began:
How dull if at each stop we simply ordered, waited while the staff took the steps needed to help you, we received, we paid, we left for the next stop.

Not a wonder that it’s known as tedium.

Her comment:

Dom, 

There is never a dull stop with you.
My children always say to me, "Mom, you would talk to a door knob if you didn't have anyone else to talk to."

One of my best friends whom I have traveled with over the years has observed the same trait.
She would leave me in France and Mexico because I was talking to people along the paths.
You are one of those people, whom I have observed in my 77 years of life, who finds interesting people along your life's path.
You are never hesitant to engage in conversation. . . and I love that about you, Dom.

I find people so interesting. . . one never knows what is behind the persona.
I have met some extraordinary human beings in bars, on the dance floor, in university classrooms, and walking on paths to somewhere and nowhere.
People have always and continue to enthrall me.
And I think you are one of those interesting, inquiring people who love people and their stories.
I will always remember your experience at Dunkin Donuts in Columbia. It makes me smile.

The trees are blooming here as are the daffodils and crocuses .
Happy shoulder Spring!
(We are due for an ice storm, so I am never a braggart about spring. (I hate the f-------season because of the pollen and the inconsistency of temperatures. )

Web Meister Responds: I believe we are soulmates. Thanks, Tommie.

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Answer to Question
The Teapot Dome Scandal?

The Teapot Dome scandal was a bribery scandal involving the administration of United States President Warren G. Harding from 1921 to 1923.
Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall had leased Navy petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming, and two locations in California, to private oil companies at low rates without competitive bidding.
The leases were the subject of a sensational investigation by Senator Thomas J. Walsh.

Convicted of accepting bribes from the oil companies, Fall became the first presidential cabinet member to go to prison; no one was convicted of paying the bribes.

Before the Watergate scandal, Teapot Dome was regarded as the "greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics".
It damaged the reputation of the Harding administration, which was already severely diminished by its controversial handling of the Great Railroad Strike of 1922 and Harding's veto of the Bonus Bill in 1922.

Oil businessman Edward L. Doheny (at table, second from right) testifying before the Senate committee investigating the Teapot Dome oil leases, 1924

Oil businessman Edward L. Doheny (at table, second from right) testifying before the Senate committee investigating the Teapot Dome oil leases, 1924

In the early 20th century, the U.S. Navy largely converted from coal to fuel oil.
To ensure that the Navy would always have enough fuel available, several oil-producing areas were designated as naval oil reserves by President Taft.

In 1921, President Harding issued an executive order that transferred control of Teapot Dome Oil Field in Natrona County, Wyoming, and the Elk Hills and Buena Vista Oil Fields in Kern County, California, from the Navy Department to the Department of the Interior.
This was not implemented until 1922, when Interior Secretary Fall persuaded Navy Secretary Edwin C. Denby to transfer control.
 

Teapot Dome around the time of the scandal, featuring Teapot Rock (from postcard  circa  1922)

Teapot Dome around the time of the scandal, featuring Teapot Rock (from postcard circa 1922)

Later in 1922, Interior Secretary Albert Fall leased the oil production rights at Teapot Dome to Harry F. Sinclair of Mammoth Oil, a subsidiary of Sinclair Oil Corporation.
He also leased the Elk Hills reserve to Edward L. Doheny of Pan American Petroleum and Transport Company.
Both leases were issued without competitive bidding. This manner of leasing was legal under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920.

The lease terms were very favorable to the oil companies, which secretly made Fall a rich man.
Fall had received a no-interest loan from Doheny of $100,000 (about $1.4 million today in November 1921.
He received other gifts from Doheny and Sinclair totaling about $404,000 (about $5.67 million today. This money changing hands was illegal, not the leases.
Fall attempted to keep his actions secret, but the sudden improvement in his standard of living was suspect.

In April 1922, a Wyoming oil operator wrote to his Senator, John B. Kendrick, angered that Sinclair had been given a contract to the lands in a secret deal.
Kendrick did not respond, but two days later on April 15, he introduced a resolution calling for an investigation of the deal.
Republican Senator Robert M. La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin led an investigation by the Senate Committee on Public Lands.
At first, La Follette believed Fall was innocent. However, his suspicions were aroused after his own office in the Senate Office Building was ransacked.

Albert B. Fall was the first U.S. cabinet official sentenced to prison.

Albert B. Fall  was the first U.S. cabinet official sentenced to prison.

Albert B. Fall was the first U.S. cabinet official sentenced to prison.

Democrat Thomas J. Walsh of Montana, the most junior minority member, led a lengthy inquiry.
For two years, Walsh pushed forward while Fall stepped backward, covering his tracks as he went.
No evidence of wrongdoing was initially uncovered, as the leases were legal enough, but records kept disappearing mysteriously.
Fall had made the leases appear legitimate, but his acceptance of the money was his undoing.
By 1924, the remaining unanswered question was how Fall had become so rich so quickly and easily.

Money from the bribes had gone to Fall's cattle ranch and investments in his business.
Finally, as the investigation was winding down with Fall apparently innocent, Walsh uncovered a piece of evidence Fall had failed to cover up: Doheny's $100,000 loan to Fall.
This discovery broke open the scandal. Civil and criminal suits related to the scandal continued throughout the 1920s. In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled that the oil leases had been corruptly obtained.
The Court invalidated the Elk Hills lease in February 1927, and the Teapot Dome lease in October.
Both reserves were returned to the Navy.

In 1929, Fall was found guilty of accepting bribes from Doheny.
Conversely, in 1930, Doheny was acquitted of paying bribes to Fall.
Further, Doheny's corporation foreclosed on Fall's home in Tularosa Basin, New Mexico, because of "unpaid loans" that turned out to be that same $100,000 bribe.
Sinclair served six months in jail on a charge of jury tampering.

Although Fall was to blame for this scandal, Harding's reputation was sullied because of his involvement with the wrong people.
Evidence proving Fall's guilt only arose after Harding's death in 1923.

Another significant outcome was the Supreme Court's ruling in McGrain v. Daugherty (1927) which, for the first time, explicitly established that Congress had the power to compel testimony.

The field was then idled for 49 years, but went back into production in 1976.
After earning over $569 million in revenue having extracted 22 million barrels (3,500,000 m3) of oil over the previous 39 years, in February 2015, the Department of Energy sold the oil field for $45 million to Stranded Oil Resources Corp.

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Good Morning on this Tuesday, the 19th day of February.

We talked about
And today being a cold wi
We heard from the elephants again and
And we tal

And now? Now gotta go.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

See you soon.

Love

Dom