Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jimmy Carter Following In The Steps Of Al Gore

Jimmy Carter is going to have a documentary in theaters;

"'Jimmy Carter Man From Plains' follows the former president on a recent promotional tour for "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which was viewed by some Jewish groups as an attack on Israel."

Another Look At Obama On Foreign Policy

Obama has taken a lot of heat from his comments on foreign policy, but here's one alternative perspective; maybe he's channelling JFK.

Carter Convention

I had no idea there were conventions like this, but on September 21-23 CPIC (Jimmy Carter Political Item Collectors) will be holding their annual convention in Plains, Georgia. Sounds cool, if I were going to be in Georgia.

Since I can't make it I'll just live with my "Jimmy Carter '76" shirt and the "Re-Elect Carter-Mondale" t-shirt.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Some New Media On Barry Goldwater

This article gives Barry Goldwater lovers something to look forward to. It looks at though there will be both a documentary and and book released on the former Arizona Senator and Republican Presidential candidate in the near future. The HBO documentary on him titled "Mr. Conservative" is being released on DVD Tuesday. Also, the article mentions that Goldwater's book “The Conscience of a Conservative" is being re-released sometime this year.

For those who don't want to stop with just a book and documentary we have both the "Elect Goldwater President" and "In Your Heart You Know He's Right" T-shirts for all your Barry Goldwater needs.

"Light" Presidents

The blog at the Clinton School of Public Service has a nice post commemorating former Reagan aide Mike Deaver who died Saturday. Most interesting in the post is the discussion about Deaver's theory on what he called "light presidents."

"In the last few years, I got to know him and I loved his stories. One, in particular, stands out. Mike believed the “light” presidents were the most successful ones. By “light,” he meant those who enjoyed working in the oval office with its bountiful natural light. He said John Kennedy, Reagan and Bill Clinton were “light” presidents and that he admired them all, political differences not withstanding."

If you share Deaver's "light" presidents theory you can pick up a Reagan T-shirt, Clinton T-shirt, or JFK T-shirt.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fred Thompson's Motivations

This is a good post on the reasons Fred Thompson has given for his possible foray into the Republican nomination scene. Particularly interesting to me is Thompson being motivated to run by "the long-term fiscal crisis spawned by the aging of the American population and the runaway costs of health care."

Since I'm of the generation that will be hurt the most by the unsustainable spending on these programs I'm curious to see if he puts any new proposals on the table. The post speculates that if Thompson does put forth new proposals he could expect to have them labeled as "risky schemes" in a replay of Bob Dole's attack on Steve Forbes back in 1996. While this could happen I think we are getting closer to a time where the voting populace realizes that the riskiest scheme of all is maintaining the status quote for funding many of the governments largest programs. The question is turning (at least I hope it is) from whether or not we should make changes to what changes should we make.

Though, for those who do seek to avoid "risky schemes" we do offer a Dole-Kemp '96 shirt.

If You're In Sioux Falls This Wednesday...

...Be sure to head out to the Sioux Falls Canaries minor league baseball game against the Sioux City Explorers and get your very own George McGovern bobblehead. The Canaries are giving them out as part of their celebration of famous South Dakotans.

After seeing this page it looks like the Canaries have given out some awesome bobbleheads in the past too. My personal favorite is the four part Mount Rushmore series, though the Catherine Bach bobblehead comes in a very close second. Either way, I think I've got a new favorite minor league baseball team.

I think these things might qualify for induction into the Americana Decor Series.

For some McGovern memorabilia that you can wear there's always our McGovern-Shriver in '72 T-shirt.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Obama, Ron Paul, Barry Goldwater, & 1964's Influence On 2008

One theme I'm noticing in the coverage of the 2008 election is that writers are finding a lot of parallels to 1964.

-First, it's pretty popular to analogize Republican candidate Ron Paul with Barry Goldwater. The feeling among some is that the Republicans don't have a great shot at the White House in '08, so they might as well nominate Paul as a nouveau Goldwater. The strategy behind this appears to be that a Ron Paul nomination might pave the way for the next Ronald Reagan in much the same way as Barry Goldwater's 1964 nomination paved the way for Reagan's election win in 1980.

-Secondly, some have drawn parallels between Barack Obama's controversial comments on operations in Pakistan and Barry Goldwater's poorly received comments about nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union back in the 1964 campaign. While I can't say I totally agree with the totality of the article I liked to on this, we probably haven't seen a candidate have to do this much damage control on foreign policy since Goldwater.

In addition to all this 1964's candidates had some of my favorite t-shirt designs. Check out the "In Your Heart You Know He's Right" Goldwater shirt, the "Elect Goldwater President" shirt, or even the "LBJ For The USA" Lyndon Johnson shirt.

Nice Suggestion On The Attorney General Position

Usually Supreme Court nominees get the majority of scrutiny from Congress, but I like this idea from Julian Zelizer of the Huffington Post that Congress should increase the level of scrutiny they give to Attorney General nominations.

Voting With Your Heart Or Your Head?

The Guardian has a nice article on how neurology and emotion impact voting. They com pair and contrast Bill Clinton's "Town Called Hope" commercial from 1992 with a John Kerry commercial from 2004 and conclude;

"The difference between the Clinton ad and the Kerry ad - like the difference between the Clinton campaign and virtually every other Democratic presidential campaign of the last three decades - reflects the difference between understanding and misunderstanding mind, brain and emotion in American politics. If you think the failure to tell a coherent story, or to illustrate your words with evocative images, is just the "window dressing" of a campaign and makes little difference in the success or failure of a candidacy, you're missing something very important about the political brain."

The article is a pretty good read and offers up a nice analysis of how Republicans have usually been ahead of the Democrats in this regard.

If you still long for the days of Clinton then go ahead and show the world with this Clinton-Gore '92 T-shirt.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Abe Lincoln's Facial Abnormality

Apparently there was a medical reason for Honest Abe's facial asymmetry. Using life masks of Lincoln doctors have determined that he had something called cranial facial microsomia.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

If You're Still Bitter About Bonds I've Got Your Solution

I can't really work up any ire over Barry Bonds breaking the home run record. I guess my feelings on Bonds are best summed up by this quote from Samuel L. Jackson;

"Guilty, innocent, whatever, you know? Barry still hit the ball out of the park. The ball's been hit out of the park that many times by this particular guy, so they can put asterisks by the record if they want to, or whatever, but it doesn't change the fact that he did it."

But, there are people who are really upset by Bonds taking over the record. As a public service I have devised a way for these people to regain their love of baseball. My solution minimizes the incentives for current players to take steroids and doesn't celebrate former steroid users.

The answer is simple, let's only celebrate inside the park home runs. Sure, chicks dig the long ball, but with the right promotion this just might work. We can build off of Ichiro's MVP earning inside the park home run in the All Star Game. We can probably get Bob Costas on board too. In my head I can already hear him covering the biggest story in sports, whether or not this is the year that some major leaguer will break Sam Crawford's single season record of 12 inside the park home runs.

Speaking of Crawford, he's also the career leader in inside the park home runs with 51. So spread the word, Sam Crawford is the "new" home run king.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Substance? I Like Substance.

This morning I found this article by Paul Krugman about how much (or little) substance there is currently in the primary campaigns.

The way I see it, the substance on the Democratic side has been spurred on by John Edwards need to find a foothold against Obama and Clinton.

On the Republican side there isn't quite as established a hierarchy. Sure, Rudy Giuliani is the front runner, but some of his more liberal stances make him vulnerable. Without any Clinton or Obama like front runners there is little incentive for a 2nd tier candidate to put forward the substance of their policies since it would just be dissected by the rest of the field. I hope we'll see more substance from the republicans as the primaries start to rank the pecking order of candidates and it becomes more advantageous for somebody needing a boost in the polls to push for more substance in the campaigns.

Abe Lincoln v. Gary Coleman?

Some people created celebrity versions of Miis (characters to use on the Nintendo Wii video game system) and have pitted them against each other in the Wii Sports game. I must say that I totally disagree with the result of the Wii boxing match. A world where Gary Coleman can beat Abe Lincoln in a boxing match should not exist, not even if it's only a virtual world.

At least virtual Abe comes back strong with a win on the tennis court:

After seeing that bogus boxing match I could totally understand if you wanted to pick up one of our Abe Lincoln Was a Badass shirts, just to set the record straight.

Americana Décor Series Part 2: George Washington Creamer

Welcome to the second part of our venture into the world of random patriotic items and knick knacks. If you didn't catch part one be sure to take a gander at our Abraham Lincoln cologne decanters.

Today's item is found on eBay, and there's still about 5 days left if you want to purchase it. I present to you...a George Washington creamer

(Yeah, that's right, you just pour the cream straight out of the point of his hat)

This thing would be great for putting cream in you coffee in the morning, right after you've plashed on the cologne from you Abe Lincoln decanters. I defy you to think of a more American way to start your day.

Do you know of any great Americana kitch? Send us an email at Questions@retropolitics.com with a picture or link and we'll post about it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bob Dole And George McGovern

It looks like this blog's theme of the day is to highlight Bob Dole in peculiar pairings. This time he's being paired in an ideological odd couple with George McGovern on the issue of having a "means test" which would allow rich retirees to opt out of the program, allowing money to be diverted towards care for children and infants. Sounds like a good idea to me.

As I was writing this I just found that this McGovern-Dole alliance has deeper roots than I thought. The clip below shows them combining their senatorial-super-friend-powers on the issue of school breakfasts.

I find it funny that these two failed presidential candidates have link themselves on some issues much like Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush did in 2006 and early 2007. Is there some unwritten rule that presidential election winners and losers can only join forces with others of the same electoral fate?

As of now I don't have any Dole-McGovern World Tour shirts, but who knows, maybe one day. For now you can settle for a regular Dole-Kemp shirt, or the always classic McGovern '72 shirt.

Court Rules That Man Can't Name His Racehorse "Sally Hemings"

Not only is the subject matter of this case interesting, but the judge was also able to work in a quote from a song by the band America.

From CNNSI.com
"The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that The Jockey Club can legally bar horse owner Garrett Redmond of Paris, Ky., from naming his 4-year-old horse after Thomas Jefferson's most famous slave, who was also reputed to be his lover."

"Because The Jockey Club is a private organization with power delegated by the state, it may restrict free speech so long as it doesn't discriminate against a specific viewpoint, Batchelder wrote."

"The Jockey Club forbids horse owners from using names of famous or notorious people without special permission. The organization's rules also say that "names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups" won't be approved."

Bob Dole And O.J. Simpson, Together At Last?

I enjoyed this post from The Eclectic Life about finding things in old used books. I've found my fair share of fun things in used books, with my favorite being a trading card of former major league pitcher Dick Pole.

(Check out that picture, porn name? Check. Porn Stache? Check)

Near the end of the post they've got a picture of some "carefully clipped pictures of Bob Dole and O.J. Simpson" that they found together in a book recently. What a combo.

George McGovern's Heirs And Arnold Schwarchenegger As A Nixon Republican

As you can tell by the fact that we run a blog, website, and MySpace page devoted to old political campaigns, we find the lineage of political ideologies pretty interesting. So, clearly this article about “McGovern heirs” putting their stamp on the 2008 campaign was interesting for us.

Since we’re talking about old politicians influencing today’s political leaders I do have to mention what I think is one of the most bizarre instances of this. It happened during the 2004 Republican Convention. In Arnold Schwarchenegger’s speech he reminisced about hearing Richard Nixon in the 1968 Presidential Debates.

“Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?" My friend said, "He's a Republican." I said, "Then I am a Republican." And I have been a Republican ever since!”

With these words he became one of the world’s few admitted “Nixon Republicans.” That’s not a knock on Nixon’s accomplishments in office, it’s just that after Watergate I didn’t expect to have such a high ranking Republican embracing Nixon at the National Convention.

If you want to proclaim yourself a “McGovern heir” or “Nixon Republican” feel free to head over to the shop and pick up a Nixon or McGovern shirt.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Will 2008 Finally Be The Year For A Senator?

In this article Martin Frost takes up an issue I've always found interesting, the difficulty that sitting senators have had getting elected president since 1960. While it's a decent sketch of the topic Frost offers little more than the usual explanations as to why this has been the case; i.e. the troubles of juggling both a senate schedule and a presidential campaign combined with the many controversial votes that senators have to cast that come back to haunt them.

This trend could come to an end though, as the 2008 has more legitimately viable senators running for the presidency than any other race in recent memory.

Political Trivia Anyone?

I'm a big fan of pub trivia, so I enjoyed passing little time with these rounds of political pub trivia from Daily Kos.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Republican Debate Recap

The Republican candidates debated today in Iowa. From the coverage I've seen there were a couple major themes;

-First, there was the debate on the abortion issue, with Brownback and Romney going at each other before turning the focus to Giuliani's pro-choice stance.

-Secondly, the candidates were able to stay focused on their differences with the democratic challengers even as they debated within their own party. Here are a couple of samples;

"In four debates, not a single Democrat said the word, 'Islamic terrorists.' Now that is taking political correctness to extreme" -Rudy Giuliani

"I mean, in one week he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies, I mean, he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week." -Mitt Romney on Barack Obama

For The Deep Pocketed Presidential Collector

eBay has an auction up for the shirt worn by John F. Kennedy during his inauguration in 1961. Admittedly it would be cool to own the shirt that JFK wore as he said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” but with a starting bid at $400,000 I doubt I can make it through eBay’s pre-qualification screening for this item.

Click here for a little more about the shirt's history, like the fact that it’s missing the third button from the collar. Personally I'll save my money for when JFK's fedora goes up for auction since he was the last president to wear one on his inauguration.

Of course you can always save a little money and show you're love for JFK by buying one of our Kennedy in 1960 campaign shirts. At the very least you would be helping me pass the pre-qualification next time I want a really expensive eBay item.

Condensed Yearly Kos

David Weigel at Reason Magazine blogged the democratic candidates statements at Yearly Kos. It's a pretty good read, particularly the candidates answers on an early question about the deficit and Hillary's defense of some Washington lobbyists which drew negative responses from the crowd.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Tainted Love

It has nothing to do with politics, but over at Deadspin I noticed that Mothering Hut has produced this clever t-shirt. The numbers running up the side reference various dubious sports achievements throughout time. I'm not really sure I would have included the number 7 referencing Lance Armstrong's number of Tour de France wins, but overall the shirt is so clever I couldn't help posting it.

Irony Of Biblical Proportions

Usually I’d think that a news story about somebody going to jail for violating the Clean Water Act would be kind of boring. That is, of course, unless the person being prosecuted was named Charles Moses and his alleged violation was attempting to part the waters of an Idaho creek.”

"Nattering Nabobs Of Negativism"

Yesterday Variety posted this article about John Edwards' squabbles with the media. The author admits that most of Edwards' attacks are directed at Fox News, not exactly a risky tactic for a Democrat, and then hearkens back to the days of Nixon and Agnew to put Edwards' relationship to the media in perspective.

The reference back to Agnew was great, not for perspective it brought, but so the author could use one of the best political quotes of all time "nattering nabobs of negativism." I think we need to do a shirt that works that quote in somehow. For more Spiro Agnew awesomeness click here, the man was a sound bite machine.

Tired Of The U.S. Media?

No matter which side of the political spectrum you find yourself on it's likely you think meda in America is inadiquate, slanted, or both. If you think you need a break head over to Watching America, it's a site that translates articles from all over the world into english to give Americans a better sense of how the rest of the world views us. I can't promise that you'll think the news from abroad is better or less slanted, but at least it does have pictures like these:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Americana Décor Series Part 1: Abe Lincoln Cologne Decanters

Welcome to the first part in what will be an ongoing exploration of the world of random patriotic items and knick knacks. Sure some people who think they have a more evolved sense of home décor would consider these items “tacky,” but we know better. These items are great, though they do need a special type of room to be displayed. We’ll begin this journey with an item from the closet of RetroPolitics.com.

I present to you…Our Abe Lincoln Cologne Decanters!
These gilded visages of Honest Abe found their way to Retro Politics via a thrift shop. The great part is they still had the cologne in them. There’s nothing that’ll make you feel more American in the morning than splashing on a little cologne from a statuette of one of America’s greatest presidents.

In case you’re wondering who would produce such an item, they originally came from the Avon company. If you simply must have one right now there’s good news, you can usually find them on eBay for a reasonable price. In fact, eBay appears to have a variety of styles when it comes to Lincoln decanters, so you should be sure to find one to fit your own sense of style.

Do you know of any great Americana kitch? Send us an email at Questions@retropolitics.com with a picture or link and we'll post about it.