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Sunday, September 16, 2018 ISSUE #945

Ranking Presidents; Surviving Hurricane Florence 

Who is the worst president of the US? I read today about a survey of a hundred historians taken in February. After one year in office President Trump was rated as the worst ever. The next worst was James Buchanan who, in four years, failed to attack the conditions that led to the Civil War. And the third worst was William Henry Harrison who somehow earned that low ranking while serving only one month. I’m no historian but it seems unfair to rate a poor fellow who dies before having a fair chance to make a good impression. At least Buchanan had four years.

          If you’re wondering, the top rated President was Lincoln. No surprise there. But where do you suppose Lincoln ranked after just one month, or twelve months?

          I have my doubts that Trump can pull ahead of any of these old-time low-rated presidents in the next three years.  Since February, Robert Mueller has investigated and charged a bunch of folks who know Trump. A famous journalist wrote a book about how scary he is. And last week a prominent newspaper credited Trump with heating up the Atlantic Ocean, causing Hurricane Florence.

Give Mueller credit. Republicans have complained that his investigation has cost $20 million, and Mueller got Paul Manafort to donate $22 million, so the taxpayer may come out ahead. Of course if Mueller sends too many of them to prison the per diem cost could eat up all our profits. That won’t even be a question if Mueller gets the man he really, down deep, wants to send to the Big House. Why, he might confiscate a trillion or two of Trump assets.

          Back to Hurricane Florence. I doubt the rainfall would have been any less (or any cooler) if Secretary Clinton had been elected. Back in 1954 Hurricane Hazel also struck the Carolinas and I don’t remember any newspaper blaming Eisenhower. That storm dumped rain all the way up into Canada. I remember the rain and flooding in West Virginia, where we had about 9 inches.

But Florence is historic with 20 to 25 inches across much of the Carolinas, and the rain is spreading north. All these folks need help for flood relief and they’re going to get it. I heard that 18 have died, and we will likely have a few more.  But don’t expect to see a thousand added to that total over the next year.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“I read that (German) submarines could not operate in the warm (Atlantic Ocean)--so I said: ‘If we can only heat the ocean we will have them licked.’ That didn't get much of a laugh and I was kinda stuck--but I happened to add, ‘Of course, that is only a rough idea. I haven't worked it out yet.’” How to Be Funny, July 1917 [Note: Will did not expect President Wilson to know how to heat the Atlantic either.]

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