Jefferson on Impeachment

Jefferson believed that the legislative authority had the sole responsibility of judging matters of impeachment.

      High crimes and misdemeanors were subjective terms not necessarily synonymous with actual crimes.

“There is another opinion entertained by some men of such judgment and information as to lessen my confidence in my own. That is, that the Legislature alone is the exclusive expounder of the sense of the Constitution in every part of it whatever. And they allege in its support that this branch has authority to impeach and punish a member of either of the others acting contrary to its declaration of the sense of the Constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson to W. H. Torrance, 1815



John Randolph of Roanoke and His Satanic Majesty

Almost Chosen People

In the winter of 1831-1832, John Randolph of Roanoke, a brilliant orator and statesman often suspected of being more than a little mad, wrote the following letter:

To the Honorable Waller Holladay, Esquire,
of the county of Spotsylvania,
of the State of Virginia,
of the United States of America,
of the Western Hemisphere,
of the Globe.

I am sure you will he surprised and pained to hear that I was honored last night by a visit from no less a personage than His Satanic Majesty. His Majesty assured me that my only hope of much longer continuance of my mortal existence depended upon my subsisting entirely upon the milk of your fine Medley mare, which would restore health to my worn out hody. Under these melancholy circumstances, I have no choice hut to throw myself upon your friendly mercies and I implore you to let me have the mare without…

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Hodgenville: The First Lincoln Memorial

Presidential History Blog

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lincnatlbirthplace.jpgMore than a decade before the magnificent temple dedicated to the memory of the 16th President was built in Washington, DC…

The Birth Place…ish

… a fine new-classical Greek temple was designed, built and dedicated to house the birthplace and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. It was located in remote little Hodgenville, Kentucky, just a few miles from where Tom and Nancy Lincoln gave birth to their son in 1809.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is preslincoln.jpg

In 1809, the area was part of Hardin County (now Larue County), and always how Lincoln himself referred to the place of his birth. Hodgenville, a little town in the middle of not-very-much, was selected for the singular honor, since it lies between Lincoln’s actual birthplace on some 300 acres purchased by Thomas Lincoln for $200 in Sinking Spring, and the Knob Creek Farm where AL lived between the ages of 2 and 7. He had no personal memory of the…

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Hamilton Predicted Trump’s Rise

Alexander Hamilton predicted the rise of a President like Donald Trump-  He describes Trump perfectly when warning his countrymen about he dangers of Aaron Burr.


“The expectation, I know, is, that if Mr. _____ shall owe his elevation to the (Republican) party he will judge it his interest to adhere to that party… and that it will be the interest of his Ambition to preserve and cultivate these friends…Mr. ______ will doubtless be governed by his interest as he views it, but stable power and Wealth being his objects…he will not long lean upon them—but selecting from among them men suited to his purpose he will seek with the aid of those and of the most unprincipled of the opposite party to accomplish his ends…Tis enough for us to know that Mr. ______ is one of the most unprincipled men in the UStates in order to determine us to decline being responsible for the precarious issues of his calculations of Interest.”


“As long as the (Republican)  party preserve their high ground of integrity and principle, I shall not despair of the public weal. But if they quit it and descend to be the willing instruments of the Elevation of the most unfit and most dangerous man of the Community to the highest station in the Government—I shall no longer see any anchor for the hopes of good men. I shall at once anticipate all the evils that a daring and unprincipled ambition wielding the lever of Jacobinism can bring upon an infatuated Country.”


** Replace “Burr”  with “Trump….

Madison on Impeachment

Madison’s Constitutional Convention notes offer us clarity in our current discussions on impeachment.

  • A President does not need to commit an indictable crime to be impeached

  • Failing to properly discharge the duties of the Office was enough to impeach


Madison recorded in his Convention notes-


“Mr. MADISON thought it indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the Community agst. the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate. The limitation of the period of his service, was not a sufficient security. He might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers. The case of the Executive Magistracy was very distinguishable, from that of the Legislature or of any other public body, holding offices of limited duration. It could not be presumed that all or even a majority of the members of an Assembly would either lose their capacity for discharging, or be bribed to betray, their trust. Besides the restraints of their personal integrity & honor, the difficulty of acting in concert for purposes of corruption was a security to the public. And if one or a few members only should be seduced, the soundness of the remaining members, would maintain the integrity and fidelity of the body. In the case of the Executive Magistracy which was to be administered by a single man, loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic.”



On Impeachment

Should the current Chief Executive be worried?

Supporters of corrupt Presidents, from Andrew Johnson to Bill Clinton… all use the same erroneous argument about the Impeachment provision of the Constitution.  “But he didn’t commit a high crime!”   


If only our Framers had specific indictable crimes in mind when they included… the all important Impeachment provision.  The historical record clearly shows “High crimes and misdemeanors”  is a standard based on all facets of public conduct.


In Federalist 65, Hamilton writes : “those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”


Madison argues in the Convention debates that impeachment can be used if the President “fails to discharge the duties of his office.”  


“it will make him in a peculiar manner, responsible for [the] conduct” of executive officers. subject him to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses.”

“Violet Lightning” and “Mighty Wind” – Japanese Late War Fighters

Pacific Paratrooper

N1K Shiden

Two planes fielded by the Japanese late in WWII, the Kawanishi N1K1-J and N1K2-J fighters, became popular with the Japanese military, despite having an unusual development history.

In the history of aircraft design, it hasn’t been that unusual for land-based planes to be converted into seaplanes. It’s a natural step from the more familiar role to a somewhat more unusual one, removing wheels, adding floats, and making other adaptations.

For the Kawanishi N1K1-J, however, the pattern was the other way around. The N1K1-J Kyofu (meaning “mighty wind”) was a seaplane fighter. It was successful enough to be adapted into the land-based N1K1-J Shiden (meaning “violet lightning”).

By the time the N1K1-J Shiden went into production, the tide of war had already turned against Japan. The Allies, particularly the Americans, were pushing them back across the Pacific, island by island. On the mainland, the Chinese kept fighting with the help…

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