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Archive for September 20th, 2014

1918, World War I and a young officer named George S Patton

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We all know General Patton for his exploits in World War II.    However, a younger Patton served in World War I under General McArthur.

On this day in 1918, officer Patton wrote a letter to his parents:

“On September 20, 1918, 32-year-old Colonel George S. Patton of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) writes to his father from the Western Front in France, recounting his experiences during the American-led offensive against the Germans at Saint-Mihiel earlier that month.

Patton had previously served in Mexico in 1916 under General John J. Pershing during the U.S. army’s pursuit of Mexican rebel Pancho Villa.

The following year, after the U.S. declared war on Germany, the young officer traveled to France as Pershing’s aide.

At Saint-Mihiel, Patton was put in command of the light-tank brigade. The attack marked the AEF’s first major offensive operation as an independent army during World War I, as well as the first time the U.S. had used tanks in battle.

“Dear Papa,” Patton began his letter, “we have all been in one fine fight and it was not half so exciting as I had hoped, not as exciting as affairs in Mexico, because there was so much company. When the shelling first started I had some doubts about the advisability of sticking my head over the parapet, but it is just like taking a cold bath, once you get in, it is all right.”

In the rest of the letter, Patton chronicles his experience in battle alongside a brigade commanded by General Douglas MacArthur (later the commander of all Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II) and his movement on foot across the battlefield, evading German shells and surveying the damage inflicted by the battle.

As Patton finally concluded, “This is a very egotistical letter but intersting [sic] as it shows that vanity is stronger than fear and that in war as now waged there is little of the element of fear, it is too well organized and too stupendous.”

Later wounded in the leg by a German machine-gun bullet, Patton was evacuated to a military hospital, where he enjoyed a full recovery.

He returned home safe from France, receiving a Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart for his service in World War I.

Two decades later, as a general, Patton would play a leading role in World War II, becoming one of the most famous and controversial military figures in U.S. history.”

Catch our radio series with Barry Jacobsen about World War I.

Written by scantojr

September 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Posted in US History

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The Moms Who Could Flip the U.S. Senate

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Back in 2004, I recall reading that married women with children were one of the key factors behind the Bush re-election.

For example, the CNN exit poll showed that Pres Bush won the “married women with children vote” 59-40%.  President Bush beat Senator Kerry 86%-14% on terrorism.

This “mom vote” was a big reason why President Bush won by 3 million votes in 2004.  In other words, women felt that Pres. Bush would protect their families better than Sen. Kerry.

Are we going to see something like that in 2014?  We may, according to Peter Beinart:

Suddenly, it feels like 2002. Democrats got creamed in midterm elections that year because the women voters they had relied on throughout the Clinton years deserted them. In 2000, women favored Democratic congressional candidates by nine points. In 2002, that advantage disappeared entirely. The biggest reason: 9/11. In polls that year, according to Gallup, women consistently expressed more fear of terrorism that men. And that fear pushed them toward the GOP, which they trusted far more to keep the nation safe. As then-Senator Joe Bidendeclared after his party’ s midterm shellacking, “soccer moms are security moms now.” 
Unfortunately for President Obama, the security moms are back. And as a result, the levee Democrats were counting on to protect against a GOP hurricane is starting to crumble.

Remember Chris Matthews talking about the “mommy” and “daddy” parties?  Matthews’s idea was that voters saw the GOP as the party that protected you and your family.

Frankly, I never subscribed completely to Matthews’s theory, although it was supported by all of those GOP presidents who ran on a strong national defense platform.

Twenty-fourteen is a bit different, I think.

In other words, I think that “the security moms” just don’t think that Pres. Obama is up to the job.  By the way, a CBS poll just released does show that Americans don’t think that Pres. Obama is “tough enough” or has a strategy.

They want the government to protect their families, from the border to ISIS, and they don’t see it in Pres. Obama.

P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

Written by scantojr

September 20, 2014 at 6:00 am

Posted in US politics

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