politics

#politics

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Telemarketing. Wikipedia photo from Bob Wood (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Telemarketing. Wikipedia photo from Bob Wood (CC0)
In the wee hours of a certain morning in the year 2000, some 3,000 Arizona residents received automated telephone calls promoting the campaign of Republican State Senator John Huppenthal. Huppenthal's previous claim to fame? He had assumed a key role in the passage of a law banning automated telemarketing calls. [The calls were later said to have been placed "by accident."]
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Atlanta Federal Penitentiary
American labor activist and five time candidate for President of the United States Eugene V. Debs. Credit: Unknown author (Public domain)

American labor activist and five time candidate for President of the United States Eugene V. Debs. Credit: Unknown author (Public ...(more)

In 1918, the noted pacifist Eugene Debs made a speech condemning World War I and criticizing the persecution of persons charged with sedition in violation of the 1917 Espionage Act—a speech which earned him a ten-year prison sentence. He was also disenfranchised for life. Debs, undaunted, ran a presidential campaign as Convict 2273 from a federal penitentiary in Atlanta—and received nearly a million votes in the 1920 election. * A convicted felon can run for the office of President of the United States of America. The U.S. Constitution only requires candidates to be native-born American residents at least 35 years old.
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Nederlands: Collectie / Archief : Fotocollectie AnefoReportage / Serie : [ onbekend ] Beschrijving : Opvolger van Pieck, Walter Ulbricht Datum : 13 september 1960 Trefwoorden : opvolgers Persoonsnaam : Ulbricht, Walter Fotograaf : Fotograaf Onbekend / Anefo Auteursrechthebbende : Nationaal Archief Materiaalsoort : Glasnegatief Nummer archiefinventaris : bekijk toegang 2.24.01.09 Bestanddeelnummer : 911-5926. Credit: Anefo

Nederlands: Collectie / Archief : Fotocollectie AnefoReportage / Serie : [ onbekend ] Beschrijving : Opvolger van Pieck, Walter Ulbricht ...(more)

During the course of a speech one day, Walther Ulbricht, extolling the glories of his native East Germany, declared: "The millennium is on the horizon." "A wonderful speech," an aide later remarked. "But is the millennium truly on the horizon?" "Of course," Ulbricht replied. "The dictionary defines 'horizon' as 'an imaginary line which recedes as you approach it.'"
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Congresswoman Katherine Harris of Florida. Credit: Congressional Pictorial Directory (Public domain)
Congresswoman Katherine Harris of Florida. Credit: Congressional Pictorial Directory (Public domain)
In 2002, pro-Republican judge Katherine Harris, famed for her dubious ruling to stop a key recount during the disputed 2000 presidential election, violated Florida election law by failing to resign as secretary of state in time to run for Congress (in Florida's 13 district). Her 'solution'? Backdating her resignation letter. Perhaps fittingly, Harris, whose name has become a byword for ethical compromise, was opposed in the Republican primary by a dog whose owner mounted a write-in campaign. [Democratic spokesperson Kim Rubey promised that her party would put up a fight: "As long as she's not the person counting the votes," Rubey cracked, "there is no question that this seat will be very competitive." Harris won, but was displaced in ...
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Denton, Texas
Michael Dell, founder & CEO, Dell Inc. Credit: mikeandryan (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>)
Michael Dell, founder & CEO, Dell Inc. Credit: mikeandryan (CC BY 2.0)
Like many wily businessmen, Michael Dell was adept at oiling the political machine, as the following statistics illustrate: Total voting population of a Denton, Texas, tax district when a development plan favoring Dell Computer was approved there in 1996? One. Weeks before the vote that the sole resident was moved there by Dell so that he could approve the plan? Five.
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Senator George A. Smathers of Florida, c. 1963 (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Senator George A. Smathers of Florida, c. 1963 (CC0)
George A. Smathers, running against the incumbent Florida senator Claude Pepper in 1950, cleverly "non-slandered" his opponent by playing up to the public's meager vocabulary and knee-jerk bigotry.  Pepper—accused of practicing nepotism, indulging in celibacy, fraternizing with a thespian sister, and possessing a latent tendency toward extroversion—lost the race by a landslide.  [Pepper, who played an instrumental role in the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, enjoyed a glorious career in the House of Representatives and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly before his death in 1989.]
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House of Commons
Urinals, 2009. Flickr photo by Kim Siever (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Urinals, 2009. Flickr photo by Kim Siever (CC0)
Winston Churchill entered a men's washroom in the House of Commons one day and, observing Labor leader Clement Attlee standing before the urinal, took up his stance at the opposite end of the room. "Feeling stand-offish today, are we, Winston?" Attlee chirped. "That's right," Churchill replied. "Every time you see something big, you want to nationalize it." [The Labor Party, Churchill once declared, "are not fit to manage a whelk stall."]
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Pre-Dreadnought USS Texas, built in 1892, the first battleship of the U.S. Navy (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Pre-Dreadnought USS Texas, built in 1892, the first battleship of the U.S. Navy (CC0)
"At an election meeting when I was Liberal candidate for Leicester," Eliot Crenshaw-Williams recalls in Simple Story, "I was handed a slip of paper on which was written, 'Is the candidate in favour of Dwarf Battleships?' "The rule is, when understanding nothing about something, to talk at length about something you do know something about. So I prepared to launch forth on a general exploration of naval policy. Luckily I caught the agonised eye of my faithful and extraordinarily efficient election agent, who had hastily scribbled something on a piece of paper. Contriving to get it into my hands while delivering a harmless exordium, I opened it and saw, 'It's a kind of potato.' I rapidly revised my remarks." ...
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Bill Gallagher's classic photo of Adlai Stevenson
Bill Gallagher's classic photo of Adlai Stevenson
At a Labor Day rally during the 1952 presidential election, Flint Journal photographer, Bill Gallagher snapped an unfortunate picture of Adlai Stevenson with a hole in the bottom of one shoe. When Gallagher won a Pulitzer Prize for the photograph, Stevenson sent him a telegram: "Congratulations," the cable read. "I'll bet this is the first time anyone ever won a Pulitzer Prize for a hole in one."
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Dick Armey, former member of the United States House of Representatives. Credit: Unknown author (Public domain)
Dick Armey, former member of the United States House of Representatives. Credit: Unknown author (Public domain)
Republican Congressman Dick Armey was noted neither for his tolerance of homosexuality or for his advocacy of gays in the military. Not surprisingly, he did not get along particularly well with his openly-gay colleague Barney Frank. When columnist Dave Barry asked if he was in fact Dick Armey, he replied: "Yes, I am Dick Armey, and if there is a 'dick army,' Barney Frank would want to join up!" [Armey also once famously referred to Frank as "Barney Fag".]