Tag Archives: sarah palin

As the Peacock Turns

Hey, Jeff Zucker.  Congratulations on pulling a Jason Mesnick from The Bachelor (for the highbrows, this is a John Kerry 2004 reference).  Yes, over at NBC, they’re spreading a flippity-floppity flu.  One day they like Jay… the next day, they like Conan.  Oh wait, back to Jay.  Conan.  Jay.  Conan.  Jota.  Conando.  Pretty soon, neither Jay nor Conan will want to fight this middle-school battle anymore, and The Tonight Show will end up in the hands of Carson Daly and a host of former VJs from TRL.  Hey, you can’t lose ratings if you ain’t got none.  With this kind of competition, at least Letterman can start banging staff members again. 

The Jay-Conan-Jeff Zucker love triangle has become such a big story that Maureen Dowd chose to write about it instead of bashing on Sarah Palin’s Fox News debut.  Dowd giving up a swing at Palin?  That’s like Mark McGwire going to bat without juice.  It almost never happens. 

But now that Zucker’s pissed off Maureen Dowd and almost everyone at NBC, he needs to fill the 10pm time slot.  His two main competitors have already developed their niche audiences (ABC’s programming is family-centric, CBS’s is murder-centric).  Given that there is only so much crap being produced in Hollywood, how can Zucker complement his 8-9pm crap with more terrible programming at 10pm?  What should follow the surefire-disaster that will be Parenthood on Monday nights

If NBC can’t do family or murder, what’s left? 

The answer?  Idiots and socialites.

Look at the success of Jersey Shore and its own sticky Situation.  Look at how many people watch the vapid Real Housewives franchise on Bravo.  Yes, these shows can’t carry on the legacy of classy NBC shows like E.R., but perhaps they can bring in ratings.  And in this capitalist little game of TV broadcasting, ratings will bring in prestige, money, and as many staff members as Dave can handle.

Without ratings and the shows to back them up… well, then, NBC is just a fancy distribution company.  Called Comcast.


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Seeking Outliers on a Normal Distribution

With all our freaks, geeks, and future politicians/sex solicitors, Harvard doesn’t really have a reputation for churning out “normal” people.  Most people believe that all Harvard students do in college is sleep and study, which doesn’t allow for any social interaction whatsoever.  Some of this is well-founded.  At our senior trip to a Red Sox game, I saw a girl furiously doing her math homework, calculator and all, right there in the bleachers of Fenway Park.  Harvard 1, Normal 0.

Most Harvard people, though, do come out pretty well-adjusted after college.  Unlike popular perception, we don’t always wear our elitist blazers with cashmere sweaters tied around our necks.  We don’t drink alcohol out of lab beakers and carry TI-83s to calculate our BACs (we do that in our heads). We still get shwastey-faced and make bad decisions at shady bars with unattractive strangers.

In fact, to show how normal we really are, let me tell you about “Chase”, a fellow Harvard grad from Jersey.

Chase is just another twenty-something with a steady job, a sweet girlfriend, and a gregarious personality.  He’s a very nice guy with good intentions.  But, he’s also crazy.  Crazy in a totally normal, Florida State way.

Even though I would best describe him as an “acquaintance,” I’ve seen Chase get drunk, get in fights, and get naked and run through the streets.  I’ve seen him projectile vomit, pass out, and ice-luge goldfish (multiple times, though not necessarily in that order).  At the Harvard-Yale tailgate on Saturday, I saw Chase operating at his very best: funneling Buds and leading raucous cheers about how much Yale sucks.

See?  At Harvard, we do have typical, jock-ish frat boys with high tolerances and low inhibitions.  So, you can say it: Harvard–they’re just like us!  (Notice how I reference popular mag Us Weekly to show how normal I am.)

Then again, as much as we love “normal” people (like Sarah Palin), perhaps we do need our leaders to deviate from the normal distribution.  I think I speak for everyone when I say that I don’t want our President crushing beers on his head while memorizing the nuclear codes.

“Do you realize,” my friend mused, as we watched Chase shotgun another Bud, “That Chase could be the Republican senator of New Jersey one day?”

At least it’s just Jersey.

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Worldly Lessons in Politics From The Hills

On Tuesday night, we welcomed the return of an American institution, The Hills, to primetime television. The Hills is MTV’s long-running reality show featuring the glamorous side of Hollywood life. We follow a handful of attractive trust fund babies as they get in fights, reconcile, get in fights, reconcile, get in fights, yell at each other, and then take sides in a Cold War of icy staredowns and sex tapes.

jbobbyIf you think about it, The Hills could easily be adapted to The Hill – that is, Capitol Hill. Where else will you get dramatic backstabbing and illicit romances? In fact, there are more interesting scandals in Washington than in the valley: All Speidi ever did was accuse Lauren of hiding a sex tape. Sarah Palin accused the President of planning to kill grandma. And what’s with this new “drama” between Kristin and Audrina fighting over our favorite hobo-riche iconoclast, Justin Bobby? There are far more people fighting over that slut of a public option than JB.

For every storyline about Brody creeping on a girl, I’ll give you John Ensign and David Vitter. For every storyline about Heidi saying something crazy, I’ll give you Michele Bachmann saying something even worse (“I’m very concerned Barack Obama may have anti-American views… The kids who voted en masse for Barack Obama are the ones being fitted with shackles and chains.”) And for every storyline about The Hills having some redeeming social value?  Well, YOU LIE.


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Healthcare Reform for The Old and the Lethargic

During the past week, we found out about two high-profile affairs (Rick Pitino and Bernie Madoff), learned the fate of two embattled NFL athletes (Michael Vick and Donte Stallworth), and watched as Miley Cyrus danced on a stripper pole.  Yes, the second week of August had sex, sports, and scandal…

And yet, all anyone wants to talk about is healthcare reform. (That makes me happy, even if it means we have to hear from people like Katy Abram.)

daysofourlivesOf course, healthcare reform has been a pretty juicy topic.  Much of the past week was a soap opera of sorts, with quite a bit of melodramatic yelling, crying, and confusion.  Did Barack put out a hit on Sarah Palin’s son?  Did Chuck Grassley just stab Barack in the back?  Are Sarah and Chuck getting it on in the Aetna executive boardroom?

Like every good soap opera, we have an array of villains and the constant threat of violence (thanks Second Amendment!).   But unlike currently televised soap operas where it’s easy to spot the villain (it’s the man with the bulging neck), the healthcare reform soap leaves it up to you.  Are you convinced that wily Sarah is making up incendiary lies to discredit Barack?  Or do you think Barack wants to euthanize the elderly?  It’s a tough call.

Either way, I’m excited to see how this ends.  Will Sarah’s premonition come true in Guiding (Grandma’s) Light?  Will we see Chuck and Barack make up in One Life to Give?  Will our universal healthcare plan see defeat in As the World Turns Socialist?

I know one thing: this is way more exciting than General Hospital.

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Just a Good, Old-Fashioned Town Hall… With the Crazies

Remember when we used to have town halls to discuss trivial matters? — Like how to get the neighbors off your lawn, or where to host the July 4th fireworks?  Well, we’ve evolved since then… now, town halls are all about whether the government should allow Grandma to live.  From yesterday’s meetings in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New Hampshire, it appears that public sentiment (or at least the sentiment of the old and jobless who can attend these midday town halls) is clear: We want Grandma to live!  We’re not going to let Obama’s death panels take her!!  Bring your socialist friends back to Russia!!!  WE… ARE… AMERICA!!!!! (Thunderous applause, chants of “USA”, hootin’, hollerin’, waving of American flag… or, if wearing a patriotic-themed shirt, some saggy boob-shakin’)

jerryspringerOf course, Grandma was never in danger yesterday… unless she found herself in the middle of the angry mob.  I was more afraid for Grandpa Specter (D-Penn), who turns 80 in February, and who hosted his second town hall in Lebanon, PA.  Wearing a dark black suit (he had a death panel meeting in the afternoon), Specter gallantly stood a foot away from his constituents as they railed him about budget deficits, tort reform, and his flippy floppies.  One particularly hostile man invoked God before making his dramatic exit.  After an hour in front of that crowd, I half-hoped that a loony Russian socialist would euthanize ol’ Arlen right there, and put him out of his misery.

Given that the morning session in Pennsylvania was so fun, I had to tune in for Senator McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) town hall in Missouri.  McCaskill one-upped Specter with some drama of her own: an African-American supporter with a sign was attacked, then escorted out of the room amidst cheers.  McCaskill did her motherly best to shush the crowd, but her scolding led to even more disorder.  Appealing to a higher power (“Remember, we had a prayer in the beginning!”), McCaskill still couldn’t prevent the boos, the interruptions, and the frequent appeals that she just “go home.”  Perhaps the attendees simply wanted to have a good Christian hee-haw without Mom getting all huffy about healthcare reform.

While Obama’s town hall in New Hampshire was infinitely more civil (although someone did bring a gun), it all begs the question: Why the outrage?  Do people really believe that Obama is going to put down Grandma?  That the government wants to emulate the (gasp) old Soviet Union?  Never mind that most Western Europe countries have universal healthcare…  I suppose the fear that we’re turning into Britain (the redcoats!) no longer stokes a fire in most Americans. 

Along with the crazies, I too, have legitimate concerns with a universal healthcare plan… But, as long as Grandma gets to live, I’m willing to listen.

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How Would You Say “Happy Birthday” in Kenya?

Happy birthday President Obama!  Of course, I’m not really sure that today, August 4th, is indeed your real birthday… See, I’ve been listening to Orly Taitz quite a bit lately.  She’s obviously a credible woman, given that she is a lawyer, a dentist, and a real estate agent–three of the most beloved and trusted professions in all of America.  She’s been leading the charge of the “birthers”, who claim that you were born in Kenya.  Yes, the mainstream media (and others) have dismissed her as a “crank” and a “racist lunatic“, but they’re probably just judging her based on how she looks (like a sad, anorexic Mimi Bobeck).  And after watching two episodes of ABC’s Dating in the Dark, I’m sick of our superficiality.  I just want the truth!

orlytaitzOrly’s most recent stint on MSNBC has me convinced.  Mr. President, just admit it.  You were born in Kenya.  I’ve seen the birth certificate.  It says your name, and it has a Kenya stamp on it: that makes it pretty authentic.  It disgusts me that you forged your Hawaii birth certificate and planted that announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser.  Given that you can’t prove your American birth any more than that, then it looks like your only recourse is to go with Orly’s suggestion: to dig up your father and make him a citizen.  That sounds reasonable to me.

According to Orly, 85% of Americans are with me.  I mean, I’ve done my research.  I’ve read the message boards on the Internet.  There are several comments by your fellow Kenyans who claim their parents did the same thing: forged Hawaiian birth certificates and then smuggled their illegal alien babies into the country.  Obviously, this makes it true.

joebideniscanadianSo, President Obama, who else is in on this scam?  Joe Biden doesn’t really look like he’s from Pennsylvania…  he seems pretty shady, and his middle name is Robinette.  Hmm, remember the famous Canadian trial lawyer John Josiah Robinette?  Well, neither do I, but he’s in Wikipedia.  And Scranton is only a six hour drive from Canada…  If your parents took a 10,000 mile weekend trip so that you could be born in the best medical facility in the world–the Mombasa hospital in Kenya–then I’m pretty sure the Bidens took a road trip to pop out Joe Robinette in Ottawa.  Am I right?  Of course, you got rid of all the evidence of your Kenyan birth, flight, and entry into America.  I bet the Bidens are trading in that old clunker now for $4,500 and a Prius.

So just admit it, Mr. President.  You were born to Muslim jihadists in a rogue terrorist hospital run by Kenyan communists.  Don’t get mad at us for exposing the truth: it doesn’t mean we’re xenophobic racist lunatics.  That’s just crazy talk.  We just think that your Kenyan citizenship affects your ability to lead the nation.  Because frankly, well, the President should be a true American: white, Christian, gun-totin’, moose-eatin’ American.  But not Sarah Palin.  She’s just a bit too familiar with Russia, if you know what I mean…

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Aliens for World Peace

I feel sorry for humanity sometimes.

tricycleI feel sorry when I hear that a Hispanic woman’s voice should only be used to enforce the “immutable” laws written by 300-year old white men. I feel sorry when I hear the term “world peace,” which now serves solely as a popular chant for beauty queens, and a punchline for stand-up comedians. I feel sorry when a tricycle needs to be locked up on the streets of New York City, because someone is afraid that it will get stolen.

I am sorry for all of these threats to humanity: for our divisive politics, for the wanton hate in the world, and for a tumbling economy that would drive thieves after three-wheelers.

But, I have a solution.  A solution that will boost our economy, bring people together, and elevate our relations with countries around the world:

Bring on the aliens.

Yes, aliens. Imagine flying saucers, little green men, and Joan Rivers’ face.

An alien attack on the White House brought people together in the movie Independence Day

I’m serious here.  It seems that most of the world’s troubles derive from our human nature to seek a common enemy.  So, think about it: The guys running Area 51 call up their alien pals and say, “Come on in!”  Thousands of alien spaceships fly through the hole in the ozone layer created by global warming. These aliens are smart (since they have spaceships) and angry (since they’ve been on a very, very long road trip with no rest stops).

Americans are soon alerted about the alien invasion, and boy, we are afraid. Afraid, and mad, because these damn spaceships are blocking satellite reception for DirecTV.  Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell immediately deliver a joint speech about togetherness in the face of adversity. Sarah Palin enchants us all with a story about how she can see outer space from Alaska. At the same time, a modern-day New Deal is put into place, creating thousands of jobs for ordinary Americans to build alien entrapment plants and spaceship bombers.

A U.N. coalition is quickly formed to fight the aliens, whose spaceships are now flying all over the globe.  Kim Jong Il offers up his arsenal of nukes.  Ahmadinejad  starts pumping oil to support a new military.  And given that America is still the global leader in science, technology, and alien objects (this is where Joan comes in), we are tasked with spearheading the charge.  After a rousing speech by Bill Pullman, Will Smith leads the first group of alien freedom fighters out in space.

Bound together by fear, and a renewed belief in our collective humanity, we shed our ideological differences and stand hand-in-hand with our human neighbors as we watch the fireworks above.

Of course, this is assuming that the aliens actually want to attack us.  Instead, if they are coming in peace, then it would seem rather inhumane to mercilessly eliminate them…  But if aliens can bring us (human) world peace, then I say, bring us the aliens.


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The Friend Bullseye

On this blog, we have talked about how important our friends are.  Well…actually, we have discussed categorizing our friends in a modern-day feudal system made up of serfs, peasants, and nobles.  Given that references to the Middle Ages may seem somewhat archaic, I have revised our friend-stratification strategy.   Introducing, the Friend Bullseye:


As an example, I have taken on the patriotic duty of filling this out for President Barack Obama.  There were a few question marks on Barry’s bullseye: For example, is Tim Geithner a “work friend”, a “convenient friend”, or just a poor-performing “acquaintance”?  What about Sarkozy, whose overtures to Obama may signal a one-sided man crush? Where does Sarah Palin fit in (especially since Batshit Crazy is already taken)?

I find that filling out the Friend Bullseye can be a rather illuminating exercise.  Further, the bullseye can also serve as a gift-giving guide–the closer the friend is to the center, the more money you should spend on birthday gifts: inner ring $75, middle ring $50, outer ring $25… and if a friend misses the board completely, then a Facebook message shall suffice (or at least a Cabinet post).

So, get out your pencils, scour your old yearbooks, and start stratifying your friends.  Not only can this help you determine Christmas-gift-worthy friends, but you’re giving yourself a head start on the vetting process for 2012.  After all, buried deep in our pasts, we all have at least one Batshit Crazy friend that we’ll have to overcome in our run for the presidency.  Sarah, we’re looking at you.


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Semi-Serious Ideas in Entertainment

singled-out1. MTV FOR OLD PEOPLE: With a rapidly aging population and a surplus of baby boomers who still want to stay hip, I propose the creation of a new TV network for the older demographic. Like its teenage counterpart MTV, FOP (“For Old People”) could feature variations on popular shows. There could be FOP versions of classic MTV hits, like Singled Out: Octogenarians, My Super Sweet One Hundred (Esther gets a new motorized scooter!), or True Life: I’m a Denture Capitalist. Some other ideas for FOP programming: Survivor: Nursing Home, Are You Smarter Than a Senile Old Coot, and The Amazing Race to Heaven.


madoffd2. RENAME PUNK’D: In our new recessionary era, Madoff’d is the new Punk’d. The pilot episode could feature a $65 billion bonfire, with Bernie lighting up dollar bills while Alan Greenspan roasts marshmallows over the flames. Then Kutcher’s lackeys can go around to all of Madoff’s former investors and give them their pile of ash, along with a S’more. You just got Madoff’d! This can be followed by a new Publishers Clearinghouse show, where we watch Ed McMahon as he goes into people’s houses with a big camera crew and, “Surprise!” — forecloses their homes.


3. MODERNIZE SESAME STREET: With these hard new times, let’s see the effect of unemployment on the Street. Are Bert and Ernie worried about paying bills? Does Big Bird look extra-frazzled? Is there a surplus of unemployed day laborers in the neighborhood? This is a great opportunity to get toddlers thinking about the impact of credit default swaps on their cookie jar. “A is for AIG, B is for bankruptcy, C is for collateralized debt obligations… and F is for failure.” And speaking of cookies, maybe we can also encourage the Cookie Monster to watch his waistline. Yogurt Monster might not be as fun, but he’ll probably live longer.


4. AMERICAN GLADIATORS MEETS C-SPAN: Every few years, we deal with the same drama in House, Senate, and Presidential elections. There are counts and recounts, hanging chads and run-off votes. There are promises and lies, hacks and phonies, Joe the Plumbers and Sarah Palins. (No wonder there’s political apathy in this country.) What if there was an easier way to decide it all? Why can’t we just run all our politicians through the Eliminator? (Junior Senators and House reps can opt for the easier Aggro Crag on GUTS instead.) The real decisionmakers, though, must perform Gladiator-style. They must face ‘roided up men and manly women. They’ll joust with Justice and try to deport Helga. The Eliminator will test their physical strength and mettle, and all of it will be shown on national TV. Then after the competition, Ryan Seacrest will announce the winner: “America, you voted… The new President of the United States is… Find out after the commercial break!”


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Where Have All The Good Times Gone?

Last summer, we were just coming to the realization that the economy might be in some trouble… Bear Stearns had fallen, oil prices were skyrocketing, and George W. Bush was still President. It wasn’t a good time.

We started 2009 thinking that the bad karma in ’08 was all in the past… but a quick comparison suggests that it may be rougher now compared to back then:

Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Nick Jonas breaks up with Miley Cyrus over the phone Chris Brown breaks Rihanna’s heart… and her nose Obviously Chris Brown… you don’t send your girlfriend to the hospital, ever
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Sarah Palin campaigning for the Vice Preisdency Tim Geithner campaigning for $789 billion Sarah Palin by a wink
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
A-Rod and Madonna A-Rod and a syringe Almost a toss-up between infidelity and ‘roids, but the juice is illegal… so it’s got to be worse
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Brett Favre un-retires Brett Favre re-retires Un-retired Brett Favre… the last month of the season counts
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Angelina Jolie has twins! Crazy Angelina wannabe has octuplets! Crazy woman… Angelina only has 6 kids compared to her litter of 14
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
$11 billion (August market cap of soon-to-die Lehman) $50 billion (Bernie) Yup, a vanishing $50 billion is worse…
Summer 2008 Winter 2009
What’s worse?
Down 9% from June to August, finishing just over 11,000 Down 10% year-to-date, clocking in under 8,000 Help.

Final count of crappiness? Summer ’08: 2… Winter ’09: 5

So, things are definitely not getting any better in 2009. In fact, they’re really spiraling more and more out of control, towards utter despair and desolation. But… at least we totally kicked last summer’s ass.

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