Ian Punnett (Twitter) was joined by Paul DeBole, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lasell University, where he teaches courses in American Government, the American Presidency, American Political Institutions, and perhaps his most popular course, the Conspiracy in American Politics. He discussed the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and the anomalies surrounding the 16th president and John Wilkes Booth. DeBole commented on the rather prescient decision by Lincoln to sign into law the bill which created the Secret Service before he departed for Ford's Theatre. Presidents now cannot even walk through the White House without numerous agents accompanying him, he added.
Prior to the assassination Lincoln wanted to meet Booth and on at least one occasion Booth refused, DeBole revealed. Booth had a monumental ego and thought of himself as a patriot ending the reign of a tyrant, he continued, noting his diary contains passages about being hunted down like an animal for doing what Brutus was heralded for. According to DeBole, Booth's assassination plan was crazy. He entered the president's box, which was occupied by four people, with only a one-shot Deringer pistol. After the assassination Booth escaped by horse to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd where his ankle injury was mended and he shaved off his trademark mustache. "I think his grand plan was to retreat back into the southern territory... and be treated as a national hero there," DeBole said.
Future of Space Exploration
In the first hour, Prof. Peter Ward delved into space-related news and the future of space exploration, which he said is problematic due to the vast amount of space junk orbiting the planet. Low Earth orbit will eventually become unusable and the cost of clearing the debris is astronomical, Ward explained. He commented on the out-of-control Chinese rocket that crashed into the Indian Ocean. "It was really crazy how little control they have... that's really scary," Ward said. He also warned about "stuff up there that really can destroy the life on the planet" as well as the curious 'mushrooms' on Mars. There is probably a prosaic explanation for the so-called mushrooms as life as we know it could not survive the radiation load on the Martian surface, Ward revealed.