If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 6 U.S. Presidents

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Coxswain Oloff Smith (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864, on board the U.S.S. Richmond. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Richmond during action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864 Despite damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked her decks, Smith performed his duties with skill and courage throughout the furious 2_hour battle which resulted in the surrender of the rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.

Private Otis W. Smith (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 16, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee. His citation reads:

Capture of flag of 6th Florida Infantry (C.S.A.).

Private Otto Smith (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during 1868-1869, in Arizona. His citation reads:

Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

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The following list was pretty fun to come up with, but also kind of hard. I can tell you that the three Presidents I wish I could have found room for were (in no real order) Thomas Jefferson, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Of the three, I feel Bush 41 and 43 are very underrated. Jefferson is probably correctly rated. I forget right now what I’m ranking on the 8th, but I’m starting to wish I had saved U.S. Presidents for that day. And, for what it’s worth, had I gone with a Top 9 Bill Clinton would have had a legit shot at the spot. I don’t know if he would have made it, but I would have taken a strong look.

I tried to keep any bias out of this list, but I’m sure I failed big time. As far as politicians go, Lyndon Johnson was probably one of the best to ever “play the game”… but MaMa hated him so there was never really any chance of him making the list. Also, I think Jimmy Carter was probably the worst President and I REALLY think he is the worst ex-President. So he had no chance of making the list either.

One thing to keep in mind, is that none of these men were perfect.  All had their faults... I just feel the good they did outweighed the bad.

The I'm just sayin… Countdown May List of the Day

Top 6 US Presidents of All-Time

6   Richard Nixon   In office: January 20, 1969 - August 9, 1974   Had it not been for Watergate, Nixon might be a little higher on the list (though there isn't much room to move up). Honestly, if this was a list ranking the Presidents once they left office Nixon would probably be #1. He is, in my opinion, the best ex-President the US has had. What can I say, I'm a fan. My Senior quote in my yearbook was a Richard Nixon quote. I think he was far better than most of the media will ever give him credit for. Of course, he wasn't without sin... and I'm sure Watergate would be enough to keep him out of the Top 6 for a lot of people, but I think his good outweighs his bad. Some of the good include the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Clean Air Act of 1970, health insurance reform, large-scale integration of public schools, Equal Rights Amendment and opening diplomatic relations with China (who can forget the old Vulcan proverb that "only Nixon could go to China"?).

5   Harry S. Truman   In office: April 12, 1945 - January 20, 1953   The man in charge at the end of WWII and the start of the Cold War. The main reason Truman is on the list is "The Bomb". Many people have second guessed his decision to use the atomic bomb. I don't have a problem with that. Some say his decision to use them was "unnecessary and inherently immoral". My humble opinion is that's bullshit. WWII is a subject I've read a good bit on over the years. EVERYTHING says that the Japanese people were proud tenacious fighters who would never give up. Estimates are that an invasion of mainland Japan could take a year and result in 250,000 - 500,000 American casualties. My guess (based only on what I know about military/political guesses), is that it would have taken longer and cost far more American lives. I doubt it was an easy decision and it's not easy to be "pro" killing innocent civilians. I think it took guts to make that call and I think it ended up saving a lot of lives. I also give him credit for firing General Douglas MacArthur... As great of a General as MacArthur was, our country is set up with the President of the Commander in Chief. Truman had to fire MacArthur or the Office of the President would have taken a huge hit. And, he said "The buck stops here"... which is something other President's could learn...

4   Franklin D. Roosevelt   In office: March 4, 1933 - April 12, 1945   I wouldn't really consider myself a "fan" of FDR, but it's hard to not have him on this list based on his leadership during WWII. And I'm starting to have second thoughts on some of his domestic policies. On one hand, I don't really like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) because I'm not a fan of big government. On the other hand, if the government is going to give people money (and it does), I'd like for those people to work for it (honestly, I do believe a good many of them would like to work for it). I know some of the work might have been work that wasn't exactly "needed" (2,261 horseshoe pits were part of the projects), but at least it wasn't simply a hand-out.

3   Abraham Lincoln   In office: March 4, 1861 - April 15, 1865   I doubt I would have had Lincoln on here 10-20 years ago… After all, he was responsible for the north not letting the South leave peacefully. And, I'm pretty sure he broke some laws during the War of Northern Aggression… but all is fair in love in war, I guess. I believe Lincoln freed the slaves, but I don't think that's what he set out to do. I think he just wanted to keep the states united... but he was smart enough to figure out that freeing the slaves could be a big political win which could help be a military win. We will never know, of course, but I have read a good many books (pro-Southern and pro-northern) that believe things would have gone better for the South had Lincoln lived. And, he wanted Robert E. Lee to lead the Union forces... which shows he wasn't stupid.

2   Ronald Reagan   In office: January 20, 1981 - January 20, 1989   It's hard to really explain how bad things were in the USA in the late 1970s. I was there… I know. Things were bad, real bad, then a little ray of hope was born. And that ray of hope was named Greg. And THEN Ronald Reagan ran for President… and WON. The country at that time didn't just need a strong leader. The country needed Ronald Reagan. After Vietnam, Watergate, Jimmy Carter as President and the Iran hostage crisis, we needed Ronald Reagan. We needed the man who would call the Soviet Union the "evil empire". We needed the man who, after bombing Libya, would say "He counted on America to be passive... he counted wrong". We needed the man who once carried a six-shooter on a trip and told the Secret Service agent he had it "in case you boys need some help". And... we needed a President who told jokes in the ER after being shot. Not to take anything away from President George H. W. Bush (who, while not on this list, was a great President in my mind), who was in charge when the Soviet Union dissolved, Ronal Reagan is the man who won the Cold War. Well, him and Rocky (and the high school kids in Red Dawn).

1   George Washington   In office: April 30, 1789 - March 4, 1797   He was called "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen". As the first President, Washington is the standard that all other Presidents have tried to live up to. He knew that everything he did set a precedent… perhaps the best precedent he set was that of a smooth transition of power to his successor.


  1. My list of top presidents tend to skew to the early guys, mainly because of their contributions in getting this Country set up is impossible to ignore (even if it wasn't necessarily a part of their actual presidency), and because I think it is easier to gauge a presidency well after the fact. That's why you won't see any presidents from the last 50 or so years on here. I still think perception of those guys are swayed so much by personal experience (like how was life for ME while they were president) and it's hard to get a wide view of what they did/did not accomplish.

    6. James K. Polk - Not as well known as many others who generally make these lists, he seemed to find a way to get a lot done in only four years (which is not to say I necessarily agree with all of what he did, but I'm impressed that he had a clear plan when he became president, and was able to get everything he wanted accomplished in one term).

    5. Franklin D. Roosevelt - The depression and WW2 could have each crippled the nation, but the country survived both events and FDR had a role in leading the country through both.

    4. James Madison - Apparently I'm somehow related to Madison through my mother's side of the family, so I've always been a fan of his, and therefore I probably overrate his presidency. But I think most people would have him in the 'good, not great' category, so I don't feel bad including him on this list.

    3. Abraham Lincoln - Whether it was his real intent, or a political move, either way, slavery ended under his watch.

    2. Thomas Jefferson - The Louisiana Purchase may have happened regardless of who was president, but the fact that the country was able to expand to such a degree, in a peaceful manner and for such a bargain, during his term was very important.

    1. George Washington - Set the tone and did well in a turbulent time of getting this Country up and running. A poor first president could have really changed the course of history.

  2. That's a pretty good list there...