Mon, Oct 11

2006—Nine years after she was hit by a lampost knocked over by a Macy’s parade balloon, Kathleen Caronna’s Manhattan apartment burns after being struck by Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle’s Cirrus airplane. 2003—Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, 33, gives Yankee coach Don Zimmer a shove, knocking the 72-year old Zimmer to the ground. 2002—The U.S. Senate approves the error made yesterday by the House. 1991—Anita Hill testifies before Congress that she was sexually harassed by her former boss, Supreme Court Justice-to-be Clarence Thomas. 1973—Henry Kissinger tells Brent Scowcroft that President Nixon can’t take a call from the British Prime Minister because he’s too “loaded.” 1963—NSAM 263 …

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Sun, Oct 10

2019—CNN: “Two men connected to Giuliani’s Ukraine efforts charged with funneling foreign money into [Donald Trump’s] U.S. election.” 2015—News reports say two 1976 assassinations in Washington, D.C. were ordered by CIA-installed Chilean dictator A. Pinochet, and covered up by the CIA and President Reagan. 2012—Donald Trump projects, accusing Barack Obama of “laundering money into his campaign from illegal online foreign donations.” 2002—The House votes to let Presidents use the Pentagon as they please. 1991—Seven of New Hampshire’s largest banks, holding 25% of all deposits and 60% of all commercial loans, are closed by regulators. 1990—Coached by Hill & Knowlton, the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter lies to …

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Re-Thinking American History

by W.D. Ehrhart I have spent my entire life reading. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away.” Even in Vietnam, as an 18-year-old, I read whatever I could get my hands on from John Updike’s Rabbit, Run to Voltaire’s Candide to John Cleland’s Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. I don’t read many books more than once because there are so many good books to read, but I’ve read multiple times David Howarth’s 1066: The Year of the Conquest, and Cecil Woodham-Smith’s The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the …

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Primus Gets National Recognition

It’s been 230 years ago since the chariot came and carried Primus home. For a man who’s been dead so long, he comes back around pretty regularly. He is always welcome in these pages. Most recently he appeared in The New Yorker. An article by Jill Lepore, headlined “When Black History Is Unearthed, Who Gets to Speak for the Dead?”, mentions Primus because he is known to be buried here, in Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground. Meanwhile, the grave of his enslaver Daniel Fowle remains unknown. We can almost hear Primus saying to Daniel, “Bottom rail on top now, boss.” Primus X—or, less formally, Primus—made another …

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Trump’s Pals Tried to Privatize the VA

by Isaac Arnsdorf, for ProPublica Sept. 27, 2021—Former President Donald Trump empowered associates from his private club to pursue a plan for the Department of Veterans Affairs to monetize patient data, according to documents newly released by congressional investigators. As ProPublica first reported in 2018, a trio based at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort weighed in on policy and personnel decisions for the federal government’s second-largest agency, despite lacking any experience in the U.S. government or military. While previous reporting showed the trio had a hand in budgeting and contracting, their interest in turning patient data into a revenue stream was not previously known. The VA provides …

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The Doom Comet of 2024

The former guy is saying that he might run for President again. There it is: one simple declarative statement that all by itself could cause another pandemic. It wouldn’t be the viral sort; we’re talking depression this time, and probably with two variants: personal and financial. During the prior maladministration, the nation spent four years—years we could ill afford to lose—sliding backwards rapidly on a host of issues like the climate, racism, economic inequity, voter suppression…we’ll stop there lest we start making tasteless jokes about self-destruction. Losing four more years would be unthinkable. Our first instinct is not to believe him. After all, paraphrasing Mary …

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