Category Archives: Presidency

Binge-watching with Obama

From Margaret Carlson at Bloomberg View:

Obama hearted “Cards” just a few weeks ago when he took aside Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings at a White House meeting of technology gurus to discuss problems with HealthCare.gov. Obama said he wished he could be “ruthlessly efficient” like Kevin Spacey’s Machiavellian character, Frank Underwood, who is “getting a lot of stuff done.” His skill set includes killing, sleeping with a reporter who prints his every word, and conspiring with his wife to do in the politicians who deprived him of his appointment to be secretary of state.

Today, in 1863, Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address

It is hard to destroy nerve gas

That, too, is a slow process, said Kuhlman. Construction on an incinerator at Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah, which held 45 percent of the nation’s chemical weapons stockpile, started in 1989. Testing began in 1994, and it became operational in 1996, he said. It took two years to destroy a supply of nerve-agent weapons that was similar to the size of Syria’s estimated stockpile. The entire Utah project took 15 years.

Source: Bloomberg.

“What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted”

What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House is a new study of popular culture in the White House. The blurb:

From Cicero to Snooki, the cultural influences on our American presidents are powerful and plentiful. Thomas Jefferson famously said “I cannot live without books,” and his library backed up the claim, later becoming the backbone of the new Library of Congress. Jimmy Carter watched hundreds of movies in his White House, while Ronald Reagan starred in a few in his own time. Lincoln was a theater-goer, while Obama kicked back at home to a few episodes of HBO’s “The Wire.”

America is a country built by thinkers on a foundation of ideas. Alongside classic works of philosophy and ethics, however, our presidents have been influenced by the books, movies, TV shows, viral videos, and social media sensations of their day. In What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culturen in the White House presidential scholar and former White House aide Tevi Troy combines research with witty observation to tell the story of how our presidents have been shaped by popular culture.

Chapter 7 on music and the quest for cool looks especially interesting.

The five best books on George W. Bush?

Jacob Weisberg says these are the five best books on the George W. Bush presidency:

Seriously? Henry V?

The story behind the famous Elvis/Nixon photo

Is told on Buzzfeed with a series of related photos. (Hint: there is a  War on Drugs theme). As  a side note, the photo above must be one of the most bizarre celebrity couple pictures I’ve ever seen.

Presidents and their hats

Behold presidents with hats :-)

And a cool video on presidents and hats after the jump! Continue reading