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The Worst

James Buchanan holds the generally accepted position as the worst President in the history of the United States. At least until historians start writing news lists in a few years. No doubt then he will move up a position. Of course, it’s possible that he will move up much further, but that will depend upon what can be proven about his personal life, other than the wild drinking, that is.

Far worse than his subservience to the slaveholding Southern States, was something he did while he was still the President-Elect. He wrote a letter to a Supreme Court Justice and “encouraged” him to make a ruling a certain way. He all but announced the ruling in his inaugural address, and then two days later watched as the Supreme Court handed him his ruling and had it blow up, not just in his own, but the entire countries face.

Of course, it all started a few years before when Congress, led by Henry Clay, made a compromise that allowed the nation to back away from a civil war and admit a couple of new States. Later, Congress would amend its compromise in the worst possible way, and combined with Buchanan’s desired ruling, the whole thing blew apart. Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned,* but it was James Buchanan who sat in the White House and drank his favorite wine with a whiskey chaser while the nation commenced the worst four-year period in our history.

All after the worst Supreme Court ruling of all time was delivered two days after James Buchanan became the worst President of all time.

At least until the current guy starts making historians lists…

*He didn’t, but most people believe the myth anyway…


The 1st Pillar of Liberty

In Maryland, a high school Student objects to an assignment on the basic tenants of Islam. Her father claims that the School is violating the 1st Amendment, specifically in that it is forcing his daughter to profess Islam by learning about the Shahada, the 1st Pillar of the Islamic faith. The Father tells his daughter to refuse to do the assignment and he files suit against the school.

Once upon a time (1997), I went to Israel and the Temple Mount where I had the opportunity to visit the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque that is there. Several people in our group strenuously objected to going inside (they were not forced to do so) and they refused to go in. But they also made it clear to those of us who did go inside that we were somehow or another denying our faith and insulting G-d.

So which is it? Is a school lesson about the basic fundamentals of Islam as a part of a course on world History from 1500c.e. to the Present a violation of the establishment clause or is it just an academic exercise?

CT – Double Trouble


The prohibition on double jeopardy extends back in human history at least the Roman era. It’s covered in Greek law, the Talmud and of course, English Common Law.

In the United States, the concept of dual sovereignty has been the guiding rule since 1847. The general idea is that the Federal government and the State Governments are both “sovereign” and therefore the prohibition on double jeopardy doesn’t apply. If the State prosecutes a person and then the Federal Government also prosecutes for the same act, the Courts have long held – some thirty-one Justices over 170+ years have expressed their belief in and support for the rule – is just fine.

Now, there are some reasons for the Dual Sovereignty rule. It has long allowed either side to “correct” an injustice, such as happened during the Civil rights era when “people were killed or worse.” And in general, the Feds have only rarely stepped in to charge a person after a state conviction.


But down in Alabama a few years ago (See September 27th Show), a convicted felon on parole was driving a car with a burnt out headlight. Of course, he got stopped. And of course, the Police found the gun he had in his possession. The State of Alabama convicted him for it, and then the Feds stepped in and also convicted him for the same crime.

And that brings us to the Supreme Court hearing in which the Petitioner (Gamble) insists that the Dual Sovereignty component of double Jeopardy should be eliminated. Now… if the Court agrees, he’ll get one sentence or the other. But it is the effect on another possible case that is really the entire reason for this argument.

And that person is Paul Manafort.


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