The White House: Great American Nut Magnet

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Officially "re-opened" less than a week, and 1600 Pennsylvania has already attracted a human torch and a fence jumper.

This is a great "fly paper" strategy for dealing with the odd public menace. I applaud the Bush administration's bold efforts and pray we stay the course. Better there than here.

Update: That human torch turns out to be an FBI anti-terror informant. I'm done here. Utterly spent.

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  1. “Officially “re-opened” less than a week, and 1600 Pennsylvania has already attracted a human torch”

    If only more Kerry supporters would follow his lead…

  2. America is a violent country – four successful attempts on presidents, six unsuccessful (if you count both Roosevelts). We really know how to criticize our Caesars.

    When was the last time a European head of state got whacked by a lonewacko?

    It’s a tribute to all Americans, twisted though it is (and we are). Our anarchists are just as effective as entire foreign political parties. It took a whole Bolshevik Party to kill Nicholas while it only took Leon Czolgosz to kill the McKinley.

  3. “When was the last time a European head of state got whacked by a lonewacko?”

    Just a couple years ago in Holland an anti-immigration candidate was shot down. Granted, he wasn’t yet a head of state, but it was probably inevitable.

  4. Fabius: “When was the last time a European head of state got whacked by a lonewacko?”

    King Umberto I of Italy was killed by a lone gunman in 1900. On the other hand, his assassin came from Paterson, New Jersey, so that may actually reinforce your point:

    http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Gaetano%20Bresci

  5. When was the last time a European head of state got whacked by a lonewacko?

    European politicians tend to be murdered by organized groups rather than by freelancers.

  6. Wait, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated in 1975 by a lone gunman (his nephew): http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Faisal%20of%20Saudi%20Arabia

    But then again, his nephew was a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder prior to returning home: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110002736

  7. The Prime Minister of one of the Scandinavian countries was shot in the 1980s. I think it was Sweden.

  8. Who assassinated Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme in Stockholm in 1986? All the others I can think of were political groups.

  9. Don’t forget 2 out of 3 Egyptian heads of state.

  10. Dammit, 1 out of 3. I really should use that preview button.

  11. In Grant’s time a citizen could walk into the White House with a reasonable expectation of seeing the President. Once, Grant was pulled over for speeding in his buggy. When the police officer demurred at citing the President, Grant insisted on being ticketed. How far we have come.

  12. I remember something about an Archduke named Ferdinand whose assassination touched off a minor scirmish.

    I’m glad we don’t over react like those nutty Europeans.

  13. One cannot forget Rabin was taken out in Isreal by an extremist.

  14. NoStar, Franz Ferdinand wasn’t a head of state, which was Fabius’ reference. Prime Minister Palme also wasn’t a “head of state” to be technical. The Swedish monarch, presently King Carl XVI, is considered the head of state for Sweden: http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/c/co/constitution_of_sweden.html

    The Swedish Prime Minister is the “head of government”: http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/g/go/government_of_sweden.html

  15. ferdinand was whacked by an organisation too – not as organised as the austrians claimed, and sure, the actual gunman was rather whacky, but it still wasn’t some one-off nutjob gaga over jodie foster or whatever…

  16. King Umberto I of Italy in 1900. Prime minister Spencer Percival of the United Kingdom in 1812. Maybe Emperor Alexander II of Russia. I think Alexander of Serbia and Alexander I of Yugoslavia were killed by groups.

  17. Once, Grant was pulled over for speeding in his buggy. When the police officer demurred at citing the President, Grant insisted on being ticketed. How far we have come.

    Grant seemed to attract these difficulties. I’m told the Democratic sheriff of McKean County, PA once cited him for fishing without a license. I think he paid up without a fuss; $10 if memory serves.

  18. >The White House: Great American Nut Magnet

    A sociopath lives there even occasionally comes out now and then to spew incoherent gibberish. Maybe it’s a matter of bird of a feather…

  19. Wasn’t the president of Finland bumped off just a couple of years ago?

  20. andy: “If only more Kerry supporters would follow his lead…”

    Actually, the guy who lit himself on fire was an FBI terrorism informant who felt betrayed by the agency:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51575-2004Nov15.html

  21. You think all that’s nutty, you should see the people INSIDE!

  22. anna lindh was also murdered in sweden. not head of state (palme was huge – there were stories about that all the time), but still, she was probably being groomed to be next PM there.

    dollfuss, head of govt was murdered before schuschnigg took over. (but miklas or someone like that was prez -maybe it was hainisch)

    if the question were: when was the last head of government, for us state and govt are same, then we have some examples. we also have examples of paint getting thrown on foreign ministers, tomatoes thrown at leading opposition candidates, finace ministers riding around on wicked-witch-of-the-west bicycles, and various others getting it on with their noam chomsky blow up dolls.

    we also had that dude shoot at the white house back in october 1994. we had a guy in front of me getting arrested at dulles for protesting “government tracking” of its citizens (the forms you’ve had to fill out), and you had thoreau try to score a french chick before he met his wife. we’ve seen JB go from a married french marine to a gay guy who thinks the europhile matt welch is “biased” or something like that.

    now project all of this onto the pitching mound scene in bull durham, and you can see there’s a lot of shit going down here.

  23. I totally forgot about Dollfuss but he was killed during a Nazi coup attempt.

    Olaf Palme, I should not have forgotten as the Jazz Butcher mention him in a song.

    I won’t quibble over prime minister, president, king, head of state. I just wanted to note that …

    … US must be tops in the West for the number of assassinations and attempts per time period and …

    … that the US has been most successful at producing citizens that have the motivation and initiative to try to kill the president.

  24. that the US has been most successful at producing citizens that have the motivation and initiative to try to kill the president.

    I think that speaks to our level of freedom and healthy mistrust/dislike of the government. It’s a smaller step to literally assassinating the president when you are free as an American to assassinate just about anything else about him. I say keep ’em coming…keep the executive branch on its toes for all it’s worth.

    I feel for the guy in the story. I don’t think he had any delusions about killing the president; if they charge him with anything other than attempting to commit suicide I’ll puke. But I wouldn’t be surprised. Nobody does betrayal like our own government. Except maybe the U.N.

  25. that the US has been most successful at producing citizens that have the motivation and initiative to try to kill the president.

    I think that speaks to our level of freedom and healthy mistrust/dislike of the government.

    That, and our level of unhealthy fixation upon Jodie Foster.

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