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Saturday, May 7, 2016

FU 2016


"Democrats are dumb and Republicans are stupid. The difference is dumb isn't funny."
- Lewis Black


Not your first time at the political rodeo? Possibly true but this time things are a wee bit different.

It is pretty historic to see an entire political party implodes while vomiting up two unlikely presidential candidates.




Political folderol is time sensitive and I have the turn around time of the Titanic but the underlying material of just how the Hell America got into this mess is notable and is not without an entertaining component.



This season of House of Cards was also different, less Shakespearean - Richard III asides, less black humor, and less points of clever intrigue. 

Even Presidential Underwood Machiavellianism pales in comparison to Trump or Cruz Machiavellianisms and Francis Underwood pushed a reporter he was having affair with in front of a subway car . . . but it is damn hard to out Trump the Trump.


Beyond typical promotion, House of Cards co-opted some election PR strategies: fu2016.com #FU2016 @houseofcards #frankunderwood


Lord Michael Dobbs, House of Cards author has a great comeback story.

An assistant to Margaret Thatcher, he was called "Westminster's baby-faced hit man." During the next election cycle, Thatcher became convinced that he had plotted against her. She fired him and attacked him publicly.



"After the 1987 election campaign, which had been a bloody time for me, I sat beside a swimming pool in Gozo with my bruises, my thoughts, a bottle of wine and a writing pad. By the time I had finished the bottle I had two initials written on the page. F.U."
- Michael Hobbs



"It’s not respect but fear that motivates a man; that’s how empires are built and revolutions begin. It is the secret of great men."
- Francis Urquhart, House of Cards



Years later, Francis Urquhart, the 1990's chief whip of the British Conservative Party became Francis Underwood, the 2005 House Majority Whip for the Democratic Party and we became binge watching maniacs.



"Donald Trump said last night that despite calling Ted Cruz a 'maniac,' he has since learned that Cruz has a 'wonderful temperament.' And if Donald Trump thinks you have a 'wonderful temperament,' you're probably a maniac."
– Seth Meyers


Following the abundance of comparisons made between the fictional campaign and the factual campaign, how well do you know the candidates?




One additional observation about FU 2016.

Incorporating Trump into a comparison quiz was a bit of a challenge. His egotistical focus surpasses the others while his speaking style and content is at a 4th grade comprehension level.


Katich speaks at a 5th grade comprehension level. Carson speaks at a 6th grade comprehension level.



Jindal speaks at a 7th grade comprehension level. Clinton and Bush speak at an 8th grade comprehension level.




Cruz speaks at a 9th grade comprehension level. Sanders speaks at a 10th grade comprehension level.



In 5 topics, can you identify which bit of trivia, quote FROM a candidate or quote ABOUT a candidate, corresponds to Francis and/or Claire Underwood, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?




1) Campaign Catchphrase:
Which candidate's campaign has an unfortunate connection to male "nether regions"?

A) Francis and Claire Underwood 


B) Hillary Clinton


C) Ted Cruz


D) Donald Trump 

1) ANSWER: 


Ted Cruz 
Cruz merged "TRUST" and "TED" into a flame of righteous indignation . . . and possibly as a symbol of his return-to-the-dark-age presidency with torches and witch burning.

Serendipitously, TRUS stands for Transrectal Ultrasound, an imaging technique to view the prostate through the wall of the rectum.





Ted does not look pleased.

2) Revenge:
Whether sweet, served cold or Montezuma’s, which election hopefuls (current, fictitious or defunct) believe the Eye for an Eye Law of Moses is too forgiving? 



(Remember some of these quotes are ABOUT a candidate.)

A) "In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I'm keeping a chart."

B) "There is nothing I do better than revenge."

C) "[ ____ ] has become the hillbilly vehicle for revenge upon the elites who have manipulated them for decades." - Aaron Barlow, Salon

D) From a recently donated diary:
"[ ____ ] asked a close friend and confidant for advice on how best to preserve his/her general memories. When asked why, [ ____ ] said, Revenge." - Diane Blair



E) "Never mistake my silence for weakness, it's the beginning of my revenge."

F) "I think [ ____ ] is part of Castro's revenge for the Bay of Pigs."

G) "Never forgive."

H) Responding to [ ____ ] quoting the "prepare to die" line from The Princess Bride, Mandy Patinkin suggested a different line would be more appropriate:
"I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life." - Inigo Montoya

2) ANSWERS:

Hillary Clinton: A&D

From a recently donated diary:
Hillary asked a close friend and confidant for advice on how best to preserve his/her general memories. When asked why, Hillary said, Revenge. 
- Diane Blair


Frank Underwood: B&E 
Never mistake my silence for weakness, it's the beginning of my revenge.




Ted Cruz: F&H
Responding to Cruz quoting the "prepare to die line" from The Princess Bride, Mandy Patinkin suggested a different line would be more appropriate: I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life. 
- Inigo Montoya




Donald Trump: C&G
Trump has become the hillbilly vehicle for revenge upon the elites who have manipulated them for decades. 
- Aaron Barlow, Salon



3) Literary Achievements:For this topic, I'm excluding the Underwoods and including their literary creator, Michael Hobbs.

A) Who has written (or claimed to have written) the most books?

B) Who paid a publisher almost 1/4 of a million dollars?



C) Per Amazon, more than 200 books were written about which candidate?

D) Who filed a lawsuit against an author for $5 billion in damages?



"You can count the number of politicians in D.C. who have the ability to write on one hand."
- Keith Urbahn, Javelin Literary Agency

3) ANSWERS:
A) Who has written (or claimed to have written) the most books?



Ted Cruz has written 2 books, but his name also pulls up as an author of Rough Island: First Lieutenant Travis O'Shea Diaries Book, which is the type of book the title suggests and I find that hilarious.



Hillary Clinton has written 6 books since 1996.



Donald Trump claims to have written 16 books, which evidentially is in dispute.

"I wrote the Art of the Deal. Donald Trump read it." - @tonyschwartz



Michael Dobbs is winner, having written 17 books . . . 



7 parliamentary novels, 6 thrillers and 4 Churchill novels.



"I take reality - then I water it down! I have to, in order to make it believable."
- Michael Hobbs 



B) Who paid a publisher almost 1/4 of a million dollars?



Ted Cruz's presidential campaign lists a payment of $122,252.62 to HarperCollins, the publisher of A Time For Truth. Purchasing your own book in bulk raises sales figures and elevating status on the New York Times bestseller list. 

"Campaigns will do whatever is possible to try to get that top spot." 
- New Republic


Excerpts from 'The Bore-Ax', a Ted Cruz Bedtime Story
by Jon Stewart's Daily Show

In the land of D.C. in the Senate of Snooze
Lived the showboatiest blab whose name was Ted Cruz

Ted talked about healthcare, compared it to Nazis
As comparisons go, he was off by a lots
Cruz claimed freedom and liberty, but it was all a big show.
Because he could have spent all that time making sure the law didn't blow.

C) Per Amazon, more than 200 books were written about which candidate?



Per the list on Amazon, Hillary Clinton has been featured in more than 200 books including 47 books for children and youth.

D) Who filed a lawsuit against an author for $5 billion in damages?

I'm sure we can all guess who filed a $5 Billion lawsuit but do you want to know why?



Timothy O’Brien, author of Trump Nation: the Art of Being the Donald was sued for "actual malice" after reporting Trump's estimated worth as between $150 million and $250 million. Trump tied up the case for years and claimed damage from when pressed estimated his wealth to be between $1.7 billion to $9.5 billion.



Judge: Let’s talk about net worth for a second. You said that the net worth goes up and down based upon your own feelings?

Trump: Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day. (Ramblings about 9/11 and other aspects of New York.)


Judge: When you publicly state what you’re worth, what do you base that number on?


Trump: I would say it’s my general attitude at the time that the question may be asked. And as I say, it varies.



4) Presidential Image:
If our society has taught us nothing else, it is the importance of appearance. Putting aside irrelevant factors like honesty, intelligence, and leadership, who looks like a Commander and Chief?

A) What is the name of the show that Clinton joked she is going to pitch to Bravo?


The hypothetical show is called: Project Pantsuit
B) According to Trump, what is the worst thing a man can do?


The worst thing a man can do is go bald . . . 
How ironic. 

C) What Shakespearian couple are the Underwoods compared to?





"Claire is Lady Macbeth in Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Armani and Ralph Lauren."

D) What is wrong with Cruz's face?



Dr. Cytowic, professor of neurology at George Washington University: "I have rarely, if ever, seen a conventional smile from Senator Cruz. No matter the emotional coloring of Senator Cruz’s outward rhetoric, his mouth typically tightens into the same straight line."
 

“Downturned expressions usually signal disagreeableness or disgust. . . . He may well be unaware that the message of his body language is incongruent with his words.” 



With this group, discussion of appearance eventually leads to scrutinizing hair choices AND if we are talking hair, we have to put Bernie Sanders in the mix.

Identify the coiffure: 


E) "[ ____ ] has a crisp part and seems to use a LOT of product. . . . It isn’t bad — but it’s not presidential." 

- Washington Post 

F) "I would probably comb my hair back. . . . if I were in the White House [because] I’d be working my ass off." 

G) "[ ____ ]'s hair is beginning to look like Bieber's. I'm not okay with this." @Annie_Wells




H) "If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle."

I) "We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair."




J) "[T]he corporate [ ____ ] cut is . . . only distantly related to the manic [hair style] the way humans are related to Hades in hell." 
- Buzzed 

K) "I get up, take a shower and wash my hair. Then I read the newspapers and watch the news on television, and slowly the hair dries. It takes about an hour. I don’t use the blow dryer. Once it’s dry I comb it. Once I have it the way I like it—even though nobody else likes it—I spray it and it’s good for the day." 

L) "Clearly, [ ____ ] has the best hair in the race among the Final Four. Sure, he/she may be the Zodiac killer but . . . . a vote for [ ____ ] is a vote for good hair." 

- Red State



M) "[ ____ ] looks like the man/woman in disaster movies who knows what is coming but no one listens because his / her hair is bad and he / she keeps dropping papers." 

N) "The most important thing that I have to say today-is that hair matters. This is a life lesson my family did not teach me . . . Pay attention to your hair. Because everyone else will."

4) ANSWERS: 

Ted Cruz: E&L
"Clearly, Ted Cruz has the best hair in the race among the Final Four. Sure, he/she may be the Zodiac killer but . . . . a vote for Ted Cruz is a vote for good hair." 
- Red State


Claire Underwood: F&G
Claire's hair is beginning to look like Bieber's. I'm not okay with this. @Annie_Wells 



Donald Trump: E&K
I get up, take a shower and wash my hair. Then I read the newspapers and watch the news on television, and slowly the hair dries. It takes about an hour. I don’t use the blow dryer. Once it’s dry I comb it. Once I have it the way I like it—even though nobody else likes it—I spray it and it’s good for the day. 



Hillary Clinton: H&NThe most important thing that I have to say today-is that hair matters. This is a life lesson my family did not teach me . . . Pay attention to your hair. Because everyone else will.



Bernie Sanders I&M
We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair. 





However, if we are going to elect someone based on Hella-good hair, I thought Mitt would have had more of an edge. After all, if the Right couldn't have Regan back, they could have had his hair back. 


Per Mitt's barber, in the suburb of Boston, the cut is so well known it is called “The Mitt."

Mitt refuses all products and color. “I tell him to mess it up a little bit [but] he is a very controlled man. The hair goes with the man.”





Sometimes, during long spells on the campaign trail, Mr. Romney will also trim his own hair if he has a demanding schedule. “It doesn’t make me happy, but what can I do?”


5) Church and State:
I think it is reasonable to attribute the 2016 congressional sideshow, at least in part, to the years of political hijack by the fundamentalists.
From speaking directly with God to believing they are God, match the quotes with the politician?



A) "I have to confess that it’s crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian." 

B) "It is the job of a chaplain to be insensitive to atheists." 

C) "I understand the Old Testament God, whose power was absolute, who ruled through fear."

D) "Politicians have a special obligation to avoid being a Pharisee, to avoid ostentatiously wrapping yourself in your faith."



E) "Let's not leave an educational vacuum to be filled by religious extremists." 

F) "I have great relationship with God . . . I think repenting is terrific." 

G) "I've got God's ear now."

H) "I'm not sure I have ever asked God's forgiveness. Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?"


5) ANSWERS:

Hillary Clinton: A&E
I have to confess that it’s crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian.



Frank Underwood: C&G
I've got God's ear now.



Donald Trump: F&H
I have great relationship with God . . . I think repenting is terrific.



Ted Cruz: B&D 
It is the job of a chaplain to be insensitive to atheists.



Church and State Bonus Question:
Which candidate has a disagreement with the Pope?
Too easy?




"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian." 
- Pope Francis



I think The Donald should be very thankful that The Inquisition is no longer active.




From Twitter Hashtag: #TrumpBible
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? I mean, I'm sure some of them are good people and all. But mostly we get their worst. ‎@rachelheldevans

I'm not saying Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem. I'm just saying show me the birth certificate. Leon Jacobs ‎@leonjacobs



God took 6 days to create the universe & then took a day of rest? Lazy. Inefficient. I pay a guy $3 and he builds me a universe. Ryan BarrellVerified account‏@RyanBarrell

And Moses went to Pharaoh and said to him, "Let my people go!" and Pharaoh did because Moses knew how to negotiate. ✔‎@bencasselman

God? Good guy. But he just wipes out all humans with a flood? Irresponsible way of handling assets, believe me. #TrumpBible @trumpbible



There you have it. My brief and non exhaustive list of candidate craziness and reasons to consider becoming an expat:

Doesn't understand how to use The Google before deciding on a catchphrase.

Vengeful to the point of possible WMD (weapons of mass destruction) deployment during I know you are but what am I bickering. 


Lack of natural teflon Reagan / Romney hair and congenital facial features that convey disgust.

Literary liar pants and adult coloring books. 

Belief in the Old-Testament-We-Must-Start-The-Apocalypse type God to the Delusions-of-Grandeur-I-am-God type God.


The search How can I move to Canada? spiked 350 percent early March correlating to Trump's status as the clear GOP presidential front-runner. 

A short thread while the initial bloodbath was still in process: 


Brother In Law: If Trump wins we will be applying for citizenship to a younger prettier country.
Sister: Canada: the younger, prettier, U.S.
Other Sister: Ha! I love it, does that mean if he does we can keep half his assets?
Another Other Sister: America, don't sign the prenup!


I'm burning up Google with my own Allocation of work visas searches . . . 


you know, before the globe builds a wall around America.




"Government works this way, two drunks, one a democrat and one a republican walk into a bar and figure something out. That is how I know this government is the worst it has ever better. Drunk people ran it better!" 
- Lewis Black



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