Thursday, January 24, 2013

Impeach the Bastards!

A second part to the presidential trivia quiz because, well frankly, I was surprised by the interest. (I guess a small portion of the presidentially curious demographic does read middle-age mommy blogs. Who knew!?!)
QUESTION ONE – I DO NOT THINK THAT WORD MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS. What two presidents have been impeached? (Hint: Tricky Dick Nixon would be a good guess but he resigned before he could be impeached.)
Slick Willy Clinton and Andrew Johnson (the president after Lincoln.) Both were but acquitted by the Senate. (And because I am who I am, I recommend checking out the Johnson story. One Senator did the right thing and, because he acted with integrity, he killed his political career.)
Bonus Question: What does it mean to be impeached? (Hint: Benjamin Franklin called it an alternative to the removal of “obnoxious” presidents by assassination.)
Impeachment is similar to a criminal indictment (for treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors) and is done by the Legislature. Then the Senate can hold a trial and depending on the outcome, the president will be acquitted or removed.
So “impeached” does not mean “give the political boot.” It means enough political weenies think they can make a name for themselves by pretending outrage over actions (that they have most likely committed themselves) that they publically go after the current head political weenie.
QUESTION TWO - PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC WHITE BOY Who could play the piano, clarinet, accordion, violin, cello and sax?
Nixon. No kidding. I would have picked Jefferson except some of those instruments weren’t invented yet, which would have limited his proficiency.
QUESTION THREE – WHAT’S THE SECRET CLUBHOUSE KNOCK? What presidents were members of the Free Masons and/or the Skull and Bones?
You know - the secret, elite boys’ clubs (especially the Skull and Bones at Yale) where the sons of powerful rich dudes make contacts, rise to even greater riches and power, ultimately rule the world and then congratulate themselves by purchasing a fleet of private jets and islands like Madagascar.
(Since they are secret, kind of the point of being a clandestine organization, some membership or non-membership is speculative.)
Bonus Question: Which president was the only member of both the Free Masons and the Skull and Bones? Hint: He was also the heaviest presidents.
Free Masons include: George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford.
Skull and Bones (Bonesmen) include: William Howard Taft, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. However, Clinton and Ford also went to Yale so I’m thinking it’s a maybe.
So the Mason and Bonesman? Taft. The heaviest president, at 6ft and 335lbs, he got stuck in the White House tub and had to have a special one constructed.
QUESTION FOUR - WHAT’S IN A NAME? As you know, there was a time when all the groovy cats were referred to by their initials. (Now we communicate in initials. Advancement or decline of civilization? LOL, YOLO!)
So this is a little mash up of presidential moniker questions. We’ll start out easy. What are the middle names of LBJ, JFK and FDR?
Lyndon Banes Johnson, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Whose middle names was Gamaliel?
Warren Gamaliel Harding
Whoes middle "name" was S. (Yes, just S.)
There are actually two presidents. Hiram Ulysses S. Grant. The S. was an error on his application to West Point and true to military standards, West Point refused to correct it. The other was Harry S. Truman. The S. stood for both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.
Which president, besides Grant, went by his middle name?
Calvin Coolidge. His first name was John, his father’s name. He disliked his father so much he dropped the name. (And let that be a lesson to all you dads out there. Be nice to your sons or you might get erased from presidential history.)
Which president was so glam-fabulous that he was known by one letter? (Sort of like Prince when he changed his name to unpronounceable symbol except he then had to be referred to as “The Artist Formally Known as Prince.” Ok maybe more like Miss Bette Midler, The Divine Miss M, but you can’t just say M because that is James Bond’s boss. Well there, you go! Like Bond’s M or Q!)
George “W” Bush, the “W” said “dub-ya.”
QUESTION FIVE – NOUVEAU RICHE? HOW DROLL Whose father started the financial family empire smuggled alcohol during prohibition?
Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Sr. Next he went to Hollywood and made a huge amount of money. (And probably also a huge amount of other little Kennedys.) He spent the rest of his life trying to buy his way into polite society including grooming all of his sons for a presidential run. "If there is anything I would hate it's an actor as a son-in-law, and if there is anything I would hate worse than an actor as a son-in-law, it's an English actor." Joseph P. Kennedy (Grandson-in-law is /was actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Granted not English but Austrian, and all that implies.)
QUESTION SIX - ARE YOU NUTS? What presidents were mentally ill? Not as defined by our dear friend Senator Hatch, who so readily enjoys diagnosing those in disagreement as having a mental illness.
Mentally ill as reported in a study done by the fabulous and reputable Duke University. (Yes, Duke so you know it must be true, or not. But this is what they reported.)
49% of US Presidents suffered mental illness. Which five of the nine presidents on our paper currency made the list?
Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant, Madison and Wilson.
Who was a hypochondriac? Hint: he was also famous for being extremely boring. A lady came up to him and said, “I bet my friends I could make you say more than two words.” He replied, “You lose.”
Calvin Coolidge
Which four presidents had a severe anxiety disorder and possibly a social phobia? (Ironic considering, as president, you might have to interact in a large social gathering.) Hints: Two of them were featured as Smarty Pants in quiz part one and they were both known for their speaking ability. One of the four wanted to be a professor of mathematics but became famous in the military instead.
Jefferson, Grant, Wilson and Coolidge. (The photo above is from Jefferson’s Great Clock. He constructed a seven day clock, run by weights, but did not plan enough space so the bottom weights end up in the cellar through a hole cut in the floor.)
Which three presidents met the requirements for bipolar disorder? Hint: One called the Vice Presidency, “the most insignificant office ever contrived by man.” One was the first president (and a total dare-devil) to ride in an automobile and fly in an airplane. (Which rules out Van Buren and Polk and I know that was who you were thinking about!) The last one you will just have to guess on your own.
John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt and L.B. Johnson.
Which three did they identify as having a drinking problem? (Frankly, I’m surprised it is only three.) One also suffered from PTSD, having witness his young son die in a railway accident. One was the first president to be born in California.
Pierce, Grant and Nixon. Pierce had three children. His two older sons died in childhood. His third son died at age 11 in an accident.
What percentage of presidents were depressed? Hint: It is more than twice the national average.
25% of the presidents were depressed and some, like Lincoln and John Q Adams, severely so.
The study also documented 10 instances in which an episode of a major psychiatric illness occurred during the Presidential term. Which president, not previously mentioned in this quiz, had one of those instances? Hint: He was the first president to have a phone on his desk and at age 90, he was one of the oldest prior presidents at the time of his death.
Hoover. The others include: J Adams, Pierce, Lincoln, T Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, Johnson and Nixon.
Which actually doesn’t look all that bad if we compare them to Hitler or Stalin. (There might just be a little megalomania slash paranoia thing going on there.)
QUESTION SEVEN – I DEMAND A RE-COUNT OR DAMN THOSE HANGING CHADS! Who received more total votes in a major election than any other president in American history?
Nixon! (Again, our boy Tricky Dick is making quite an appearance in our little quiz!) He received the most votes from his combined political races (three Congressional terms, run for California governor, two terms as Vice-President and two presidential elections.)
Bonus question: Which president and vice president were never elected?
Nixon appointed Ford as the vice president after Spiro resigned. Then Ford became president after Nixon resigned and he appointed Rockefeller as the VP.
We also need to give a little shout out to our buddy W for some probably trickery with his brother Jeb. Way to go boys. You make Daddy so proud.
QUESTION EIGHT – WHERE MY FIRST LADIES AT? So who were these boys in the sack with? (Well, presumably in the sack with some of the time anyway.)
Who was the only president to never marry? (And who was, by default, one of the few presidents we can say with conviction did NOT cheat on his wife. I’m guessing the fidelity club numbers about five.)
James Buchanan.
Who married while they were president?
John Tyler, Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was the only president married in the white house. His bride was 21 and was 49. (Ah, the lechery of old men, apparently not exclusive to aging movie stars.)
Who is the only president to be divorced?
Ronald Reagan. Yes, the promoter of good old family values!
Bonus Question: Who was the least subtle in attempts at adultery?
A good argument could be made for JFK but per a collection of media agencies (and because, as discussed, the internet never lies), the winner is LBJ! Female houseguests allege he would come to their bedrooms bellowing, ‘This is your president! Move over!’ He also had a tendency to expose himself and on one trip to Asia and mused his hosts probably weren’t used to seeing members that massive.
QUESTION NINE – WHY THAT BIRTHDATE IS FORTUITOUS Which president was born on July 4th and which three presidents died on July 4th? (Tom Cruise, though he started in a movie of similar title, is not correct.)
Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. Monroe died July 4, 1831. Coolidge was born July 4, 1872.
QUESTION TEN – BEFORE GPS Finally a little bit of presidential geography (and we won’t even talk about the Louisiana Purchase or the Mason Dixon line. You’re welcome.)
An easy one. What state were most of the US president’s from? (Chances are good it has to be one of the original 13 or one with a big population. Wyoming would not be a good guess.)
Virginia. 8 of the 44 are from there. I would have guessed more.
Who was the first sitting president to travel out of country? Bonus question, where did he travel to?
Jefferson spent a great deal of time in France but not while he held office. In 1906, Teddy went to Panama to check on our interests in the little canal project that encouraged the development of mosquito pesticides, changed international shipping and made someone a boat load of money! (Get it? Boat load! I’m so very funny.)
Which presidents are buried in Arlington National Cemetery? (Hint, there are only two.)
Kennedy, which is probably an easy guess and Taft (the only president who was both a Mason AND a Bonesman. Coincidence? I don’t think so.)
One more! Which president, while in office, spent the most time out of country?
Woodrow Wilson spent seven months in Europe trying to set up the League of Nations (which ultimately America refused to join.)
My understanding is the congress was overjoyed to be able to run amok while he was gone and pretty damn sullen when he returned.
So they did a little pouty rebellion thing and America didn’t officially try to get along with the rest of the world until the formation of the UN after WWII. (And that, my friends, food for oil, peacekeeping, and global corruption, is a story for another day!)
Thank you for your participation! Let me know how you did and what trivia I should have included but didn’t.

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