Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Squared Oval (Office) Cheat Sheet

Hey howdy this is the post that explains that other post. If you got here without finding the last one, man are you confused.
  1. James Madison wrote the large majority of the Constitution which replaced the Articles of Confederation as the United States’ ruling document, changing the structure of the American government from a loose confederation of states to a federalist republic. Believe me, this reference is hilarious.
  2. Samuel Adams famously refused to go to the Constitutional Convention because he “smelled a rat” and feared for an overreach of federal power over the states.
  3. The Monroe Doctrine stated that European powers had no influence in the Western Hemisphere and the New World, and that America would be doing the imperialism of tropical countries, thank you very much.
  4. Oh, wait, I probably should have changed this story more or even, really, at all. This is exactly what happened, except instead of backstage at a wrestling event, Jackson was walking around Washington D.C. Later, when he ran for reelection, he was nicknamed “Ol’ Hickory” in honor of a stick he used to beat the crap out of some dude. Andrew Jackson don’t care.
  5. In the election of 1824, between Jackson and John Quincy Adams, no outright majority necessary for victory earned by either candidate, which means that the House of Representatives decides on the outcome of the race. Quincy Adams, a career politician, gained the endorsement of Henry Clay, who was later appointed Secretary of State after Adams’s victory. Andrew Jackson, who ran as an outsider and “man of the people”, was understandably furious about the back-room politics that lost him an election.
  6. William Henry Harrison gave an hours-long inauguration speech when inaugurations were still held in January. Months later, he was dead after a long struggle with pneumonia. Haha!
  7. James K. Polk did more than any president since Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase to add land to the United States. The 54’ 40” or Fight reference is towards that phrase as an election slogan for Polk, who promised to extend the nation’s northwest border up until that latitude, at the loss of the British. After taking office, he established the border where it is today, several degrees south of 54’, but still further north than it had been earlier. The Mexican Cession, thanks to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and the Mexican American War, added a large majority of the modern American Southwest to the nation’s borders.
  8. Millard Fillmore looks like Alec Baldwin and has little else to recommend him.
  9. General William Tecumseh Sherman was a major general for the Union in the later days of the war. You ever seen Gone with the Wind where an entire American city burns down to the ground? That was Sherman. He’s the one famous for saying “War is hell,” and he seemed intent to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  10. The North’s major military strategy for defeating the Confederate States during the Civil War was the Anaconda Plan, which entailed surrounding the Confederacy on land and sea until they had to give up.
  11. I hate Andrew Johnson. We need a day where it’s acceptable to vandalize statues of him.
  12. Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, as in, he was president, then wasn’t, then was again.
  13. Teddy Roosevelt, running for a third term, remarked that he felt as “Good as a Bull Moose” which became the name for his third party. His third party bid that, while well intentioned, sabotaged his party’s chances at getting the White House.
  14. Roosevelt was once shot in the chest by a would-be assassin, but thanks to a 10 page long speech and eyeglasses case, the bullet was majorly slowed. That’s right. Like the movies. Because he wasn’t coughing blood, Roosevelt knew his lungs were fine. He said, before giving the speech. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” No one ever said he didn’t commit to the bit. He stood up there, bleeding from a bullet wound, and gave a 90 minute speech.
  15. William Howard Taft was supposed to be Roosevelt’s protégé, working on busting up monopolies and encourage naturalism and sustainability in the United States. After a term, however, Teddy was disappointed in Taft’s performance, and wanted to be back in the White House, so he ran against his own party’s incumbent. His popularity and personality lead him to great heights as the head of the Progressive Party, against Taft’s Republican Party. The party was re-nicknamed “The Bull Moose Party” in his honor. Because he split the Republicans between progressive and liberal and more traditional conservatism, Woodrow Wilson, a democrat, waltzed into the White House on their schism. What?! Republicans having trouble with a third party schism?
  16. Get it? Walk softly and…? Ehhhh what do you know about funny
  17. The Square Deal was Roosevelt’s progressive plan for increased social rights for common Americans and reducing income inequality from large monopolies and trusts. It makes for a really good wrestling signature move.
  18. The Bonus Army was a group of World War One veterans that, during the Great Depression, gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to protest and get their pensions that would ripen over a decade later. The government didn’t have the money to give, but what they did have was tanks and cavalry, which is the next best thing. Future American hero Dwight Eisenhower had a cameo role as a leader of the busting force. Two people died and thousands were injured. LOL!
  19. During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of Americans became homeless, at least for a short time. They made shanty towns in order to have a roof over their heads and named these towns “Hoovervilles” in Hoover’s honor. Whether or not Hoover was to blame for the Depression is a debate to this day, but that doesn’t seem to matter to homeless people, the jerks.
  20. FDR could not walk. A reminder of this handicap seems rude and so naturally this fake crowd would be embarrassed.
  21. FDR continues his Roosevelt roots (he is not Teddy’s son but instead a distant nephew) by creating a government program ending in Deal. The New Deal threw huge amounts of money to various programs in order to try and stem the worst parts of the Great Depression. It seemed to work, but World War Two worked better.
  22. WPA is a reference to the Works Progress Administration, a job-creation initiative started by FDR’s New Deal. Other programs include the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, the Social Security Administration, SSA, the Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, and many more “Alphabet Soup” programs.
  23. The Bay of Pigs was a disastrous US-backed coup to wrest power away from Fidel Castro in Cuba. The CIA planned on returning US-friendly Cuban refugees back to the island and furnishing them with equipment and training. Instead, the poorly trained irregulars were quickly captured and mostly executed. So hilarious, you guys.
  24. While visiting an army regiment in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, a young solider directed LBJ to the helicopter that he would be riding in. “That’s your helicopter, sir,” the solider said. “I’m the president, son, they’re all my helicopter,” LBJ replied.
  25. He really did call his weiner Jumbo. He was proud of waggling it about because it was really big. “I’ve had more women accidentally than [JFK]’s ever had on purpose,” he once said.
  26. LBJ was a master of power moves. When giving interviews or confronting a tough opponent, he would often use the restroom and leave the door open, pressuring and intimidating his conversation partner.
  27. Once, when campaigning in a rural area, LBJ decided he needed to pee, so he made a Secret Service agent shield him from any prying eyes. Feeling that he wasn’t paying enough attention or was too embarrassed, LBJ pissed on his shoes to spite him.
  28. LBJ kinda secretly and illegally began bombing runs on countries that the United States was not at war with, including Cambodia and Laos.
  29. The Great Society was a package of domestic progressive initiatives including the Voting Rights Act and increased Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Most of these bills were passed through Johnson’s expert navigation of the legislative branch and left over goodwill from Kennedy’s assassination.
  30. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a naval embarrassment of the United States by the North Vietnamese and most likely was not as bad as Johnson made it out to be. In reply, Congress passed a law that allowed for incredibly huge powers to be transferred to the President to expedite warmaking. Yeah, so he lied about something and got tons of power out of it. He’s basically Chancellor Palpatine if the Empire had some pretty modern views on race.
  31. Nixon famously kept a list of enemies in order to get back at them when the time was right. Paranoid and vindictive, Nixon’s actions made it a long list.
  32. Since Kennedy, all conversations in the White House were recorded through a secret tape recorder hidden in the walls. Nixon refused to hand over his tapes when the Justice Department began looking into his involvement in the Watergate Scandal, and when he was finally forced, 18 ½ minutes were missing from the tape, and no explanation was given. Many people believe it was hard evidence of his knowledge and support of the actions at Watergate.
  33. Ronald Reagan famously implored Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall during a speech. Later, Germans would do the work for both of them.
  34. Reagan liked jellybeans. Pretty easy, guys.
  35. He also like naps. Why didn’t you get that?
  36. Mikhail Gorgachev had a big birthmark on his face and I wanted to make fun of him for it because I’m an awful person.
  37. Reagan was famously involved in the Iran-Contra affair where he was accused of trading weapons to embargoed and “We seriously hate the United States” Iran, in order to secure the release of U.S. hostages and to be able to fund the right-wing paramilitary group the Contras from Nicaragua. He denied his involvement despite admitting it was the truth. You heard me.

No comments:

Post a Comment