White House

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Mary Todd Lincoln

Controversial as First Lady, Lincoln’s Wife Remains Misunderstood

Historians have long been fascinated with the behaviour of Mary Todd Lincoln.

She was one of the most interesting and polarizing first ladies of the 19th century: Her unusually stormy moods, coupled with rumors of delusions, constant headaches and pallor, have led historians to suggest that she was “insane,” “hypochondriacal,” “menstrual” and the “female wild cat of the age.”

Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of President Abraham Lincoln, became a figure of controversy during her time in the White House. And she has remained so until the present day. A well-educated woman from a prominent Kentucky family, she was an unlikely partner for Lincoln, who had come from humble frontier roots.

During Lincoln’s time as president, his wife was criticised for spending too much money on White House furnishings and on her own clothing.

Mary Todd Lincoln, the most criticised and misunderstood first lady, experienced more than her share of tragedy during her lifetime. From the time she was six, her life took a melancholy turn from which she never recovered. She suffered from depressive episodes and migraine headaches throughout her life and turned to squandering money on lavish gowns and frivolous accessories during the white house year in hopes of finding relief from the void deep within.

Mary supported her husband throughout his presidency and witnessed his fatal shooting at nearly point blank range at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Mary’s life was difficult after her husband was assassinated; she suffered from depression and mental anguish, which led to her being hospitalised for a time.

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Finally David has a Goliath in his corner

Israeli Leaders quite understandably have hailed the ‘New Era’ of Donald Trump after eight long and painful years of Barack Obama’s leadership. It is worth noting that Donald Trump has been described as a “true friend of Israel” given that Whaleoil published the responses from three of New Zealand’s political parties to the question, ” Are you a friend of Israel? “

Maori Party response

Act Party Response

Labour Party response

Both the National Party and NZ First did not respond to the question.

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Photo of the Day

With a bouquet of roses in her hand, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 – 1994) and, behind her, U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963), greet the public at Love Field airport during a campaign tour in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The President was assassinated later that day. (Photo by Art Rickerby/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Jackie Kennedy: The Pink Suit

Even those who were not born when Kennedy was President are not immune to the horrific image of that perfect woman in that perfectly beautiful suit covered in blood

Jackie Kennedy’s pink suit is an iconic symbol of the horrible tragedy that occurred Nov. 22, 1963. The bloodstained boucle suit is still hidden away, more than 50 years after JFK’s assassination.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s wardrobe was chock full of enviable outfits, but perhaps none is more firmly engrained in our collective memory than the pink suit she wore the day her husband, the nation’s president, was killed.

Images of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the events that followed have been seared into peoples collective memory: the convertible crossing in front of the grassy knoll, JFK Jr.’s funeral salute, Jackie’s pillbox hat and pink suit, stained with her husband’s blood.

While some historic artifacts from the event have been displayed in the years following President Kennedy’s death, Jackie’s iconic boucle ensemble with navy blue lapels still remains hidden from public eye, stored in a “custom made acid-free box” in the climate-controlled National Archives building in College Park, Maryland along with Oswald’s rifle, bullets and bullet fragments from the shooting, the original windshield of the limousine, and more than five million pages of assassination-related records.

A “line for line” replica of Chanel (as first lady, she needed to be seen in American-made clothing), the vibrant outfit was one of President Kennedy’s favourites. Jackie wore it several times before that tragic day in November, and President Kennedy thought she looked “smashing” in it.

He asked her to wear the suit in Dallas.

And after he was shot, she refused to take it off, not at the hospital and not on the flight back to Washington, even though it was caked with his blood.

“Let them see what they’ve done,” she said, refusing any suggestion that she clean herself up.

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Mary Pinchot Meyer.

Mary Pinchot Meyer

Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer

Conspiracy theorists who question President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 have, over the years, become obsessed with another murder. On Oct. 12, 1964, socialite and artist Mary Pinchot Meyer, a longtime Kennedy mistress, was shot execution-style in broad daylight while walking along the Georgetown canal towpath.

Within hours, police charged day labourer Ray Crump Jr. with murder. They never found the gun, however, and a jury acquitted Crump after an eye-witness described the killer as much bigger than the diminutive defendant. In the ensuing years, the case has become one of Washington’s most infamous unresolved murder cases.

Mary Pinchot Meyer never received the last letter John F. Kennedy wrote to her. In October 1963, the 35th U.S. President penned a love letter to his alleged mistress, Mary Pinchot Meyer, begging her to come and visit him later that month, but he never mailed it. JFK was assassinated the following month, and Mary Pinchot Meyer was found murdered one year later. Her murder remains unsolved.

“Why don’t you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand, you may not – and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don’t you just say yes?”

JFK’s letter to Mary Pinchot Meyer was written on White House stationery, although the tops of the official letterhead were cut off. But when the letter is held up to the light, the faded presidential seal watermarks are visible. The note was never mailed, but it was saved by Kennedy’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln.
Mary Pinchot Meyer began her affair with President Kennedy sometime in the early 1960s. Mary’s name was all over White House gate logs, showing she signed in to see the President on at least 15 occasions between October, 1961, and August, 1963. JFK’s confidant, Kenny O’Donnell, said the President told him that he “was deeply in love with Mary, that after he left the White House he envisioned a future with her and would divorce Jackie.”
Charles Bartlett, another close friend of the president, confirmed that “Jack was in love with Mary Meyer. He was certainly smitten by her, he was heavily smitten … It was a dangerous relationship.”

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Chris Christie has a message for Republicans

Chris Christie has a message for Republicans…and for Vic Crone’s social media flunky and former Young Nat President, Sean Topham, who is due to jet off to help on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Jersey governor Chris Christie has drawn a line in the sand, telling reporters that if you’re not helping Donald Trump win the presidency, then you’re helping Hillary.

Speaking to reporters, Christie said that Republicans refusing to help Trump only help Hillary win the nomination for president, and they need to “get onboard”:

Enough of everybody complaining. If you’re a Republican, it’s time to get on board and help the nominee.  Or if you don’t, you’re helping Hillary be elected president. One or the other, there’s no choice anymore. We now know who the two nominees are going to be, there’s no speculation any longer. So, if you’re a Republican and you’re not helping Trump, then you’re helping Hillary.

Chris Christie has remained one of the real-estate mogul’s most ardent supporters. Fox News commentators even went as far to call the New Jersey governor Donald Trump’s “enforcer.”

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Photo Of The Day

FDR's mother Sara with her son and daughter-in-law Eleanor. Franklin Roosevelt was born in 1882. His father had been married previously and was already 54 years old with a 28 year-old son by then.

FDR’s mother Sara with her son and daughter-in-law Eleanor. Franklin Roosevelt was born in 1882. His father had been married previously and was already 54 years old with a 28 year-old son by then.

The Many Loves of FDR

The Influence Of The Women Who Figured So Prominently in His Life

“They form and reveal him” 

In the early 1900’s, very few women were working outside the home. The Victorian ideal of the angel in the house, a school of thought that promoted female domesticity, had crept into the new century. Women were just earning their right to vote, rarely received higher education, and if they wanted to work, were stuck with the limited options of teacher or secretary. Among these few working women was Lucy Mercer, mistress of Franklin D. Roosevelt and secretary to his wife, Eleanor.

FDR was a man who knew adversity – he learned to live with polio at the age of 39, became president at the height of the Great Depression, was involved in two World Wars, and rescued the economy with his “New Deal.” Despite these major achievements, an affair would make it impossible to save his own marriage.

When FDR proposed to his distant cousin Eleanor in 1905, his mother, Sara Roosevelt, opposed the union vehemently. Though the future President was 23 years old, she maintained that he was too young to get married, and made herself an awkward presence in his newlywed life. The townhouse she built for them adjoined to hers on every floor, but despite these intrusions on their privacy, the couple had six children, the first four in rapid succession.

While FDR liked to socialize and was comfortable among the upper class, Eleanor preferred a simpler existence. Nevertheless, when her husband was made Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913, she had many public obligations to fulfill, and hired Lucy Mercer to be her social security. Mercer was fun, vivacious, and beautiful, and it wasn’t long before she was sleeping with her boss’s husband.

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Photo Of The Day

During the 1960s, Campbell was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She was well connected among other stars, politicians, and socialites, and her relationship with Giancana put her on the FBI's radar. J. Edgar Hoover quickly learned about Campbell's relationship with Kennedy, and set up surveillance on her home. Additionally, Campbell was relentlessly harassed and questioned by the FBI, and when she became concerned about the whole ordeal, Kennedy assured her it was nothing to worry about. However, it was all too much for Campbell and after one last visit to the White House, she broke things off with Kennedy.

During the 1960s, Campbell was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She was well connected among other stars, politicians, and socialites, and her relationship with Giancana put her on the FBI’s radar. J. Edgar Hoover quickly learned about Campbell’s relationship with Kennedy, and set up surveillance on her home. Additionally, Campbell was relentlessly harassed and questioned by the FBI, and when she became concerned about the whole ordeal, Kennedy assured her it was nothing to worry about. However, it was all too much for Campbell and after one last visit to the White House, she broke things off with Kennedy.

 The Exner Files

Judith Campbell Exner, JFK and the Mob

For many years, rumours circulated that Judith Campbell had  been involved in a plot hatched between her two lovers, John F. Kennedy and Sam Giancana, to kill the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. In 1991 she came forward and described how she had sat on the edge of the bathtub in a Chicago hotel while the president and the Mafia don talked in the bedroom.

Kennedy’s involvement with the Mob in a plot to kill the Cuban president has often been put forward as one of the reasons for his own assassination in Dallas in November1963.

The three gunshots fired in Dallas 53 years ago meant a Presidential legacy unfulfilled — and a personal life unresolved.

The sorry mess of sexual exploits that President John F. Kennedy left behind took years to emerge. The supporting cast was vast, and one of them, a woman who was, next to Marilyn Monroe, the most famous one, though not by her choice.

Judith Campbell Exner was the first of JFK’s lovers to be publicly identified, and so she was pilloried by a public furious at learning that at least one wing of Camelot had more in common with the Playboy Club.

A beautiful woman is introduced to a handsome, charismatic Senator running for President by an Academy Award winning movie star. They fall into an affair. Meanwhile, the beautiful woman is also introduced to the head of the Chicago mob by the same man. The beautiful woman carries messages and arranges meetings between the now President of the United States and the Chicago mobster. Sounds like the plot of a thriller, or a conspiracy theorists wet dream doesn’t it? However in this case, it happens to be true. Allegedly.

This much can be proved.

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There is only one way: Kill them before they kill us

Barack Obama is going to make an address to the US public in the wake of the latest terrorist attack.

US President Barack Obama will make a special primetime address to the nation on counterterrorism efforts.

Just days after 14 people were shot dead in California, the White House said the president will address the nation from the Oval Office at 8pm on Sunday (2pm NZT tomorrow).

The speech will include “the steps our government is taking to fulfilll his highest priority: keeping the American people safe”.

Obama vowed earlier on Saturday (local time) that America “will not be terrorised,” as the Islamic State group praised the couple behind Wednesday’s mass shooting as “soldiers” of its self-proclaimed caliphate.

The FBI are investigating the attack in San Bernardino as a possible act of terrorism.    Read more »

Gun control will stop terrorists…we know this because the White House says so

According to the White House spokesman gun control will stop terrorists.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called for tighter gun control in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, saying that President Barack Obama believes that if “common sense” gun controls were enacted, it could have prevented the attack.

Pressed by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy whether the president actually believes gun control would stop a terrorist plot, Earnest said making guns harder to get would be a good place to start:    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Bill Ray’s unforgettable picture of Marilyn, alone in the spotlight.

Bill Ray’s unforgettable picture of Marilyn, alone in the spotlight.

The Night Marilyn Sang to JFK

Here, on what would have been JFK’s 97th birthday, Marilyn Monroe sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, New York, May 19, 1962.

Fifty-plus years ago, on a spring night in New York City, 35-year-old Marilyn Monroe — sewn into a sparkling, jaw-droppingly tight dress — stood alone in a spotlight on a dark stage. She took a breath, began to sing — and 15,000 men and women who filled the old Madison Square Garden that night knew, simply knew, that they were seeing and hearing something that they would never, ever forget.

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