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Four million Americans, it is reported, plan to attend activities connected with the Obama–Biden Inaugural in Washington–roughly ten times the prior record. That’s enough to convince any sane person to stay home. So what to do?
I propose an inaugural cocktail. To me it feels like 1933 all over again (not that I was alive then, mind). Herbert Hoover, a far better man than his eventual Republican successor, was heading off to salvage something of his name (he would succeed at that, by the way). FDR was about to start the first of his four terms, and Prohibition was coming to an end.
Of that era’s cocktails my favorite was the Clover Club. It’s a vintage drink, popular enough during the Depression to earn Esquire‘s scorn. A bit sweet, a bit sour, and no need for a second. You take one part grenadine or raspberry syrup (pomegranate juice in a pinch), two parts fresh squeezed lemon juice, and half an egg white. Put them in a shaker with cracked ice and shake vigorously to a creamy froth. Add eight parts gin and a dash of apple brandy. Drink to the strains of Roosevelt’s campaign song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Amount the town of Rolfe, Iowa, will pay anyone who builds a home there:
Ancient Egyptians worshiped some dwarves as gods.
In Italy, a judge ordered that a man who paid for sex with a 15-year-old girl must buy her 30 feminist-themed books, including The Diary of Anne Frank and the poems of Emily Dickinson.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”