Here Is The Elvis Forever Stamp

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Fans of the “King of Rock and Roll” will soon be able to purchase a brand new stamp celebrating his incredible life and career.

The U.S. Postal Service announced that Elvis Presley has been chosen as the newest face of its special edition postage stamp. The stamp features a stunning black and white portrait of Presley originally taken by photographer William Speer in 1955. The stamps will come in a specially designed package that mimics a record sleeve and features a border on the back detailing his impressive career accomplishments.

Fans can pre-order the stamps at the USPS website or purchase them at select post office locations beginning August 12.

Fringe Element Of Republican Party Working To Undermine Chances For 2016 Win

What we are watching play out over the past 10 days as Donald Trump runs his ego for the GOP presidential nomination, and the most rabid fringe element play along to the scenario that Trump has designed for them, is the implosion of the Republican Party’s chances for a win in 2016.

It is not pretty to watch, but as a Democrat it does make me smile and stay tuned.  Much like a traffic accident that we all deplore we still slow down and try to catch every detail.  The more that aging, angry white males chant his name and rally to his remarks the more press coverage Trump gets and that mileage then lifts him in the polls.  With over fifteen declared candidates poll numbers at this point mean almost nothing.   But yet when covering the horse race these stories matter, and correctly get ink.

Part of the problem is that the very ones in the GOP who decry the crazy antics Trump is now making are some of the same ones who courted his outrages and preposterous statements for years.  They ginned up this whack-job so much that Trump believes he is truly worthy of taking the stage with all the others in a debate.  It is making a mockery of the entire process.  

The lesson for the GOP is that you reap what you sow.

One of the running narratives Republicans are trying to sell is the Trump story is one being generated by the press.  Not for the first time do conservatives, when all else is failing, try to pin blame on the reporters and journalists in the land.  But the facts always get in the way of those attempts.

Trump is known for viscerally attacking President Obama in the most vile of ways.  Had the GOP been smart when this was all occurring years ago they would have spoke about the need to be civil and not have in any way encouraged or supported such outrages.  Instead too many in the GOP smiled and offered space in the Republican Party for such crazy notions as ‘birthers’.    All that and more have now created conditions within their party so that Trump can plant his feet and make a national joke of the entire GOP.

One has to smile, if you are on my side of the political divide, at the timid responses from Trump’s rivals as the talk of getting too harsh on the bigot might span a third-party run next fall.  It seems all that the GOP can do at this point is smile and bend over.

Trump is a product of the GOP, and he is going to proceed just likes he wants.  Even if that means angering the voting blocs that a general election nominee must have in order to win in 2016.

Political Trivia: Slaveholders Cost President Adams 1800 Election

The bizarre constitutional compromise that treated each slave as 3/5ths of a person for purposes of apportioning the U.S. House seats and electoral votes effectively gave free citizens in slave states added political clout.   If only free citizens had counted in electoral votes, Adams would have won by two votes.  

—A Magnificent Catastrophe, By Edward Larson

Political Trivia: President Adam’s ‘Mistresses’

There has always been a toughness to our national elections, starting with the first highly contested one in 1800.

Rumors circulated that President Adams had once sent diplomat and one-time vice-presidential contender, Thomas Pinckney, to England for four mistresses.  That would be two for each man.  Adams would joke about this matter which not was not true with the statement, “If this be true, General Pinckney has kept all for himself and cheated me out of my two.”

Read First Chapter Of Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’

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In 1957, when she was 31 years old, Harper Lee submitted her first attempt at a novel to the publisher J.B. Lippincott.

Titled ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ it was set in the ’50s and opened with a woman named Jean Louise Finch returning home to Alabama. Ms. Lee’s editor found the story lacking but, seizing on flashback scenes, suggested that she write instead about her protagonist as a young girl. The result was a Pulitzer Prize-winning classic: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

‘Go Set a Watchman’ will be published on Tuesday. It has undergone very little editing. “It was made clear to us that Harper Lee wanted it published as it was,” Jonathan Burnham, publisher of HarperCollins’s Harper imprint, said in a statement. “We gave the book a very light copy edit.”

The first chapter of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ introduces Ms. Lee’s beloved character, Scout, as a sexually liberated woman in her twenties, traveling from New York to Alabama to visit her ailing father and weigh a marriage proposal from a childhood friend. It also includes a bombshell about Scout’s brother.

Here it is!

Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical. Over her breakfast coffee, she watched the last of Georgia’s hills recede and the red earth appear, and with it tin-roofed houses set in the middle of swept yards, and in the yards the inevitable verbena grew, surrounded by whitewashed tires. She grinned when she saw her first TV antenna atop an unpainted Negro house; as they multiplied, her joy rose.

Jean Louise Finch always made this journey by air, but she decided to go by train from New York to Maycomb Junction on her fifth annual trip home. For one thing, she had the life scared out of her the last time she was on a plane: the pilot elected to fly through a tornado. For another thing, flying home meant her father rising at three in the morning, driving a hundred miles to meet her in Mobile, and doing a full day’s work afterwards: he was seventy-two now and this was no longer fair.

She was glad she had decided to go by train. Trains had changed since her childhood, and the novelty of the experience amused her: a fat genie of a porter materialized when she pressed a button on a wall; at her bidding a stainless steel washbasin popped out of another wall, and there was a john one could prop one’s feet on. She resolved not to be intimidated by several messages stenciled around her compartment—a roomette, they called it—but when she went to bed the night before, she succeeded in folding herself up into the wall because she had ignored an injunction to PULL THIS LEVER DOWN OVER BRACKETS, a situation remedied by the porter to her embarrassment, as her habit was to sleep only in pajama tops.

Click here for the rest of first chapter.

Tighter Gun Laws Could Have Stopped Dylann Roof Murder Spree In Charleston Church

Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine people in a Charleston church last month, should not have been able to buy a gun, the FBI has now determined  That means the background check was not done properly, according to the Director of the FBI.

Due to a prior arrest when Roof admitted to possessing drugs, he should not have been permitted to buy the gun he used in the massacre. However, the NICS agent who was performing the background check on Roof was unable to determine which county the arrest had been made in and whether Roof had been convicted of the crime. Due to the fact that Roof’s background check took longer than three days to complete, the gun shop owner was allowed to sell the gun to Roof.

Under federal law, the F.B.I. has three days to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to deny the purchase. If the bureau cannot come up with an answer, the purchaser can return to the dealer and buy the gun.

In the case of Mr. Roof, the F.B.I. failed to gain access to a police report in which he admitted to having been in possession of a controlled substance, which would have disqualified him from purchasing the weapon. The F.B.I. said that confusion about where the arrest had occurred had prevented it from acquiring the arrest record in a timely fashion.

Mr. Roof’s application was not resolved within the three-day limit because the F.B.I. was still trying to get the arrest record, and he returned to store and was sold the gun.

Many major national gun dealers, like Walmart, will not sell the weapon to the buyer if they do not have an answer from F.B.I., but many smaller stores will.