Friday, September 30, 2011

"I Lost," Jefferson Declared Independently

Thomas Jefferson must feel like this...
... because Thomas Whitmore blew it up in the Arena. Like a maniac.

Whitmore vs. Jefferson
Thomas J. Whitmore       18 (69.2%)
Thomas Jefferson     8  (30.8%)

You would think, in another world, these two would have plenty to pal around about. Both Toms have a really strong connection the Fourth of July. They would probably throw the biggest, baddest barbecue in the land.

Sadly, that's not what the Arena is all about.
It's about figuring out which presidents would respond to adversity by using the crane kick and which one would not. Sadly for Jefferson supporters, he is the latter.

Whitmore survives to see 2012 — coincidentally, the title of another Roland Emmerich film — and will face Kang from The Simpsons Jan. 2. Wait — the alien is going up against the alien killer? Great job, HttCttD voters!
Seriously. (Click for actual GIF-ness.)
Join us next week when George Washington faces Grover Cleveland (the elder).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Four More for Whitmore?

Doug: In Monday's post, Tony referenced an article at, which states that Thomas Whitmore would never get re-elected because his pro-nuking Houston platform. I'm not convinced. Far be it from me to argue the finer points of a fictional universe — wait, that's all I do.

Tony: Seriously, Mr. "Let Me Tell You All the Inconsistencies within the Back to the Future Movies."

Doug: God, don't get me started. Like how Doc Brown took Marty and Jennifer to 2015 to help keep Marty Jr. from committing a robbery, thereby keeping the McFly Family heading on a downward spiral. Yet he didn't even warn Marty that he was less than an hour away from being involved in a car crash that would cause him to break his hand and thereby kill any musical aspirations he had. Wouldn't that be the starting point of the downward spiral. It would lead to Marty and Jennifer sleepwalking their lives in a crappy neighborhood. If Marty and Jennifer had a better life, then Marty Jr. wouldn't feel the need to commit the robbery to try to improve his family's station in life.
No one will notice a flying DeLorean on a suburban street on a Saturday morning.
Doc could have just told Marty not to take part in a drag race about to occur, thereby avoiding having to show Marty and Jennifer their future and thereby breaking his rule that people shouldn't know too much about their future.

Tony: *ahem*

Doug: Oh. What was I saying?

Tony: Whitmore? Re-election?

Doug: Oh right. I'd have to disagree with the article. Dropping the bomb on U.S. soil or not, Whitmore would have to screw up pretty badly to lose re-election. I wouldn't normally say that for someone who orders a nuclear strike on our own cities. If Obama were to nuke Houston today, he could probably not count on re-election.
However, the person or people behind creating this poster wouldn't be surprised.
However, Whitmore was trying to destroy an alien craft hovering over the city. No, the plan didn't work and Houston was destroyed. What this article posits is that if Whitmore sat tight and waited for a drunken crop duster to accidentally figure out how to destroy these crafts ONLY AFTER a fighter pilot and a cable technician flew an alien craft to the mothership and uploaded a virus to its computer system, Whitmore wouldn't have had to order a strike on Houston.

That's a pretty big if. Also, what do you suppose these alien crafts were doing in Houston to begin with? If past experience is any indication, they weren't just passing through. If Whitmore sat back and did nothing, Houston was going to be destroyed anyway.

Though, I imagine any of Whitmore's opponents would still harp on the Houston decision. I suppose we can't really blame them, either. On paper, without thinking of the context of such actions, it sounds horrible. Yeah, and filling Houston with radiation was probably not good. Maybe Whitmore would have to make do without Texas' electoral votes.
If Whitmore is a Democrat, he probably wasn't expecting Texas anyway.
But bombing an Ohio city would probably be a bad political move.
But think of the good that he did during that whole mess. He, personally, took part in the destruction of an alien craft. That's got to win him some votes.

Who would run against him, anyway? It's not like there was anyone in Congress with any better ideas. No governor stepped up with a clear solution to defeating the invasion. The only person in Whitmore's Cabinet who might take issue with the way Whitmore handled things would be Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki, and he wanted to bust out the nukes sooner.
"I've been telling you to drop bombs on U.S. soil for years, Mr. President."
Tony: History shows that there's always some asshole out there who thinks they can do a better job, even if that incumbent is, say, FDR during World War II. So, who would run in the post-Independence Day America? Well, part of the answer depends on who you think would survive the alien invasion. While Washington D.C. was destroyed in the initial assault, that probably didn't do as much to take out Congress as you might think. Remember, this was around the Fourth of July, and if there's one truth about Congress, it's that Congress will seize any excuse it can to take some time off.
Oh sure, the old "giant fireball has consumed the U.S. Capitol" excuse again.
So, Congress was probably in recess, meaning its members were back in their home districts. Not all of those home districts survived, obviously, but most of the destruction took place in America's cities, leaving all those congresspeople from the 'burbs and agricultural districts, which usually house some powerful figures (Tom Daschle, for example).

Thus, once all the dust clears, you can bet all these congressmen (to hell with the gender-neutral pronoun, it'd be men) would come popping out of their holes, and they'd run platforms along the lines of "Look, I know Whitmore had a good run against the alien invaders. But those alien invaders aren't around any more! I think it's time for new leadership in New Washington D.C.!"

Doug: Well sure, I suppose someone would run against him. Every Abraham Lincoln has a George McClellan. And they get obliterated in the election. Think about FDR. He not only had Republicans against him, but he also had Democrats who didn't believe anyone should be president longer than three terms. But it didn't matter, because FDR easily won his elections.
If people think of Thomas Dewey, they think of this and not how he got his ass handed to him by FDR in 1944.
Under normal circumstances, no one is going to be able to give Whitmore that much of a challenge. Now, imagine a significant amount of the would-be talent is now dead. No one is left.

Tony: I dunno. The thing is: I wonder if we've lost our ability to fall in love with politicians, any more.  Not to get all socio-philisophical on you, or anything, but we tend to give politicians a super-short leash these days, and it seems like the "bump" that presidents give for their victories lasts all of two seconds. So the question we have to ask is, how long would it be before Whitmore ran again? The movie came out in 1996, which was obviously an election year (unless the Independance Day universe is like the West Wing universe, and elections are held in our midterm years for reasons no one ever mentions). You have to wonder: if the film was intended to be set in 1996, would Whitmore's America even be capable of holding elections five months after the film?

If there's too long of a gap between ID4 and the election, Whitmore's chances start to fade. This is the "Bush in '92" scenario, again: everyone loved him after the Gulf, but the economy tanked, and then he was vulnerable. If Whitmore can't point to significant progress post-invasion when the election rolls around, voters might take their frustrations out on him, heroics be damned.

Doug: Yeah, we don't know what year this takes place. All we know is that Whitmore has been in office long enough for the honeymoon period to be over, but it's not an election year, because that would have been mentioned four months before November. I would even go so far as to guess that it wasn't time for midterm elections, as that didn't get any mention either, putting this at 1995 (or the year before an election year).

Of course, part of that theory is based on the idea that a Hollywood blockbuster movie full of explosions would spend a considerable time discussing the political implications of said explosions.
"What do you suppose this means for the European Union?"
— No one watching Armageddon
If Operation Desert Storm had been 16 months later, it would have been a smooth election for Bush. The stakes for Whitmore are much higher though. Bush helped get the dictator of a nation the size of California out of a neighboring nation the size of New Jersey over 6,000 miles away. Whitmore helped save mankind.
"Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today ..."
Which brings me to the point that Whitmore has been known to whip up an inspirational speech or two. There was the one before the last dogfight before he suited up. Then there are the ones we don't know about, like the one that said, "Hey, I know I'm insanely young, but you should elect me anyway."

His speeches worked before. I don't know why it wouldn't work again.

The Chief: Well, regardless of whether or not you believe Whitmore could get re-elected, the main question this week is, "could he beat Thomas Jefferson in a fight?" Whitmore vs. Jefferson rages on, so be sure to be a part of the action: vote, comment and spread the word!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Whitmore vs. Jefferson

Thomas J. Whitmore
Fictional President of the United States played by Bill Pullman
Served: In the film Independence Day (1996)
Age during term: Pullman was 42 when the movie was released

Arena Experience — Whitmore beat James A. Garfield with 64.6% of the vote in his 1st Round appearance. While that percentage may not seem all that impressive, it should be noted that we had an all-time record number of voters that week. And given that a lot of the new voters were brought in from an unbiased source — as opposed to other weeks with abnormally high voting — we could assume that the sample size was large enough to paint a more accurate picture.

PROS: Whitmore's a young guy — possibly entered office in his 30s — who is also a twice-over war hero. He fought in the Persian Gulf War, and he led a squadron fighting off the massive alien invasion in which millions upon millions of people died. Yes, as president. So, he's ready for a fight when needed.

CONS: His pre-Arena fighting experience is less-than stellar and includes a fist fight with uber-nerd David Levinson, who survived without any permanent injuries. Also, Whitmore has a hard time commanding respect; or at least he did before he helped beat the aliens.

Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of the United States
Served: 1801-09
Ages Served: 57-65

Arena Experience — In a light-voting week, Jefferson gained about 61% of the vote against the fictional Mackenzie Allen from the show Commander In Chief. Rowing enthusiasts everywhere wept at the result.

PROS: As President, Jefferson is something of a loose cannon, as evidenced by his handling of the whole Louisiana Purchase situation, and the subsequent taxation of the United States' newest (un-represented) citizens.

CONS: Jefferson's fighting ability (outside of the arena) is about nil. He was an amazing writer, a passionate lover, but a fighter? Not so much.

The Fight
Tony: You know, on paper, this may not seem like anything of a match. On the one hand, you have Whitmore: destroyer of aliens. On the other, Thomas Jefferson, all-around smarty pants. Brains vs. brawn, only in a format that only rewards the abilities of brawn. Case closed, right? Wrong!
First, let's call Jefferson what he is: a nerd. Yes, the third president of the United States was a big ol' nerd, a nerdy mcNerditroid to the max, as it were. What's Whitmore's track record with nerds? Oh, that's right-- they punch him out. Jefferson and Whitmore are going to get into the arena. Whitmore's gonna think he has easy pickings. Then Jefferson is going to deliver a wicked one-liner, probably in French, and Whitmore will be studying his own ass, having received it from Jefferson just moments before.

Doug: Whoa! Whitmore has never, to our knowledge, gotten punched out to anyone. The story goes that David Levinson got the element of surprise on Whitmore and punched him and Whitmore punched him back. No one claimed to punch anyone out. The fight probably ended early because someone broke it up. Had they been in the Arena, things would have been different — and Levinson wouldn't have the luxury of uploading a virus to Whitmore via some mid-'90s laptop.
"Aww, crap. Give me a minute and let me Force Quit."
Jefferson was very fortunate the first time. We don't know how America's Bookworm defeated an athlete in the 1st Round, but that luck is going to end at the fighter pilot.

Tony: Well, see, that's just what Whitmore wants you to think. He's a macho fighter pilot! He's not going to want to admit he got slapped around by the Fly! So he downgrades the whole experience to "oh, we just traded punches and then it got broken up." Pride = saved. And since he didn't face another nerd in round one, he was home free!
This time, however, he faces not only a nerd, but a gangly nerd at that. Will Jefferson's lank come into play, here? Actually, I have no idea, since Whitmore isn't exactly a heavy lourde himself. Whatever. Jefferson's got this.

Doug: Oh, I see. You're saying Levinson mopped the floor with Whitmore, and now Whitmore is downplaying the fight as an elaborate cover-up. Quite the controversy EXCEPT we've never heard Whitmore even mentioning the fight. Levinson was the one downplaying the severity of the fight. If Whitmore is trying to keep the fight secret, it's because he doesn't want word getting out that he's a nerd-beater. Nerds have a pretty high voter turnout rate, and it would be political suicide to run on the "I fight nerds" platform.
And not everyone will understand their protest signs.
And are you suggesting that Whitmore does very well against Civil War major generals, like James Garfield, but fighting nerds is somehow beyond him? I'm curious as to how that works.

Tony: I can't really get in Levinson's head about the whole fight fiasco. I mean, all I know about that guy is that he's handy with an old school MacBook, and that he thinks you must go faster. Oh, and he thought he was part of something special. But I digress.
It's true that Whitmore beat Garfield like a drum. However, I would like to posit the following: for every Achillies, there is a heel. For every Superman, there is a kryptonite. For every well-placed hunter trap, there is a stealthed rogue. What I'm driving at is that everyone has a weakness. Whitmore's weakness could very well be nerds, and that's not going to go well for him.

Another weakness? Planning ahead. Which is my awkward transition to a recent article by the fine folks over at Cracked, pointing out that Whitmore might not be able to win reelection. This guy is going to beat a Founding Father in the Arena? Not bloody likely.

Doug: Okay, I suppose there is a possibility that Whitmore's weakness is nerds. But there's no real proof this is true and since we're pulling something out of thin air, I'm going to go ahead and posit that Jefferson's weakness (aside from the complete lack of fighting of experience, which history has already proven) could be widowers.

Ehh, it kind of makes sense. Jefferson's a widower, so he's knows what Whitmore is going through, so he holds back. I don't know. It makes more sense than "Fighter pilot can't beat up nerds."

As for the Cracked article, this proves nothing. Whitmore wasn't worried about re-election, he was worried about getting rid of the aliens. If he didn't get rid of the aliens, there wasn't going to be another election. He did what he could to win this war with the aliens. The only people he killed by nuking Houston were the ones who stayed in one of the nation's remaining populated cities — despite what was happening to other major metropolitan areas around the world — who were about to get vaporized anyway. So this only proves that Whitmore will do whatever he can to win.

Jefferson is Houston. And he has a problem. And I'm not talking about the abysmal Astros.
HEY-O! They were terrible this year. And I'm a Met fan, so I know terrible baseball.

The Chief: You realize the original quote was "Houston, we've had a problem," and not "Houston, we have a problem," right?

Ugh. Damn pop culture-obsessed jerks don't even know the real quote. They just go with what was in the movie. Lousy kids — Anyway, polls close Friday at 9am, MDT.

Whitmore vs. Jefferson

Friday, September 23, 2011

Crushing Defeat for Some, Miniature American Flags for Others!

Okay, "crushing" is maybe a bit of a reach, but still, there will be partying in the streets of Earth Capital this weekend as Kang celebrates another victory.
Party details are minimal, as no one knows where Earth Capital is.

Monroe vs. Kang
James Monroe       9  (45%)
Kang   11 (55%)
Voting was close all week, with Monroe hanging tough, but never quite breaking through. In the end,  Kang eked out a victory, and a trip to the third round. Interestingly, the commentariat was solidly behind Monroe:

Yes... so to speak.

Kang will be ringing in 2012 with his Round of 16 appearance Jan. 2. Join us next week when Independence Day's Thomas J. Whitmore will face Thomas Jefferson — Two Tumultuous Toms.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Office of Statistical Overinformation

What could be more fun than imagining an alternate reality where 64 presidents — most dead, some of them fake, a few animated, one not even ever president and two doubles — were entered in a tournament to fight each other? Analyzing the results from the 1st Round of said tournament, naturally.

These figures reflect only the 1st Round. Don't worry, the Round Two's fights will get their day of statistical fun. Or possibly, several days, depending on how many Wednesday posts we need to fill out.

Out of the 19 fictional characters entered in the pool, 10 (53.6%) moved on to the 2nd Round.

Out of 30 of the 32 fights, the older combatant won in 18 fights, or 60% of the time. We left out two fights: Kennedy vs. Dave and Kang vs. Garfield. We don't know how old Dave is, but it's very close to JFK's age, so there's no way of even estimating that. We don't know how old Kang is and ditto about even estimating that. Also, would that be in Earth years? How does that translate to Kang's species? Yeah, we'll never know.
Ronald Reagan beat Rutherford B. Hayes, who was nearly two decades younger when he was in office.
The president who served later won 62.5% of the time. Interestingly enough, the president who served latest, Nixon's Head — who served in the early 31st century — lost, while the earliest president, George Washington — 1789-1797 — won.
When it comes to statistics, it's nice to be able to weed out the extreme cases.

The taller president won 82.1% of the time.
Jed Bartlet, the shortest winner at 5'7", beat a six-foot John Tyler.
There are a few missing from this figure. There were a few instances where this could not be calculated. For example, Grover Cleveland was probably the same height as his opponent: Grover Cleveland.
Hmm, looks about the same.
    Did someone ask for pie chart madness?

    Combatants going into 1st Round, by Party:
    Democrat    19    29.69%
    Democrat-Republican    4    6.25%
    Federalist    1    1.56%
    Republican    20    31.25%
    Unaffiliated    3    4.69%
    Unknown    13    20.31%
    Whig    4    6.25%

    Going into the second round, things look like this:
    Democrat    13    40.63%
    Democrat-Republican    2    6.25%
    Federalist    0    0.00%
    Republican    8    25.00%
    Unaffiliated    1    3.13%
    Unknown    7    21.88%
    Whig    1    3.13%

    The Republicans went from 20 to 8? Well, damn.

    Most important of all? The combatants argued by Tony won 62.5% of the time.
    When reached for comment, Tony had this to say:
    Doug's reaction, meanwhile, was slightly more understated:
    Exit polls showed that both fared about the same in terms of getting their fictional presidents to win. Tony won 4 out of 7 (57.1%) in getting them to win, while Doug went 6 for 12 (50%). When we start discussing real presidents is when Doug really stunk it up. Tony went 16 for 24 (64%), while Doug only managed to get 6 out of 20 (30%).
    Hey, lookit, a new kind of chart!
    Help us generate more data for statistical analysis fun by voting in this weeks match between James Monroe and Kang from The Simpsons. We'll see you Friday!

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Monroe vs. Kang

    James Monroe
    5th President of the United States
    Served: 1817-1825
    Ages during term: 58-66

    Arena Experience: Monroe battered his way past the Love Actually guy in the first round, picking up 63.6% of the vote along the way.

    PROS: Spent the Revolutionary War being a total badass, then proceeded to tell Europe to keep their damn dirty hands off the entire Western Hemisphere. Dude was unaccustomed to taking shit from the old world, basically.

    CONS: Monroe's presidential races were somewhat devoid of opposition, meaning he might not be used to challenges by the time he gets in the Arena. Also, he was kinda one of those "last of his generation" guys, and you never know if those guys are going to go out with a bang, or a whimper.

    Elected President of the United States in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VII
    Voiced by Harry Shearer
    Age: Who knows?

    Arena Experience: Kang obliterated James Buchanan in the 1st Round, earning 86.7%. Buchanan never really stood a chance.

    PROS: He has years of experience observing the human condition, and he has a history of using this knowledge to his advantage. If he can rig an election, he could probably take one in a fight, and the fact that he's much bigger and has more limbs helps.

    CONS: During his last fight, there was a question of whether or not Kang would be able to survive without his suit. He also once got spooked when he got chased by a bartender wielding a board with a nail in it.

    The Fight
    Doug: I believe our last debate on Kang ended in a deadlock. We couldn't agree on how he would fare without his space suit. All we know for sure is that while walking around Earth for extended periods without a space helmet, he will occasionally need to exchange long-protein strings with another Rigelian.
    That may have been a cover-up for Bob Dole and Bill Clinton being seen
    holding hands on multiple occasions during the 1996 presidential election.
    Beyond that, it's up to our imagination. You theorized that he breathes with the help of some unseen technology, which would not be allowed in the ring, while I said it was possible that an unseen organ could serve as an air reserve, which would be allowed.

    Since neither can be proved or disproved, we'll have to have the voters weigh in. And last time they did that, Kang slithered away with nearly seven out of eight votes. Kang knows how to rip apart a puny human before running out of air.

    Tony: Yes, the voters had their say, but I think Kang is up against a somewhat more formidable opponent this time around. After all James Buchanan was an indecisive diplomat and academic. Monroe, on the other hand, spent a considerable chunk of the Revolutionary War kicking ass and taking names, and when he got into the White House, he didn't dither around. He grabbed Florida from Spain, and then told all of Europe to go hang.

    Now, I'm not gonna say that Monroe is not going to freak out a bit when he first gets a look at Kang. However, once Monroe goes to battle, he's not going to back down until his foe is vanquished.

    Doug: Granted, Monroe's going to make things more interesting than Buchanan did, but he's still no match against the Rigelian.

    And I believe you may be giving Monroe a little too much credit about entering a ring and seeing Kang. He's going to freak out a bit when he sees himself on the Arena's JumboVision. Granted, he would have seen that in the previous round, but it's still just as shocking to him the second time around, I'm sure. Then he'll get a load of the 10-foot alien he's supposed to fight. He may need to change his knee breeches after that.

    Tony: Well, I'm gonna say that you're probably giving too much credit to Kang's intimidation factor. After all, he did get scared off by the old "board with a nail in it" maneuver. I realize Monroe can't pull that same trick, but who's to say there aren't other weird things that Kang is scared of? Perhaps he's as terrified of his competitors as they are of him! His bravado is just a shield masking his insecurities! Monroe, ever the tactician, will sense this, and unleash a righteous whooping.

    Doug: I can't really explain the board with a nail in it incident. Maybe it was first-time invasion jitters that are clearly out of his system by now. By this time, he has already enslaved humanity and vaporized the entire audience of The Jerry Springer Show.
    Easily the best thing for humanity to ever occur during a taping of The Jerry Springer Show.
    He's even a veteran of the Arena. There won't be a repeat of the board incident.

    After studying humans for as long he has, he's not going to be terrified of James Monroe. Maybe worried that he'll get Monroe blood in his giant eye, but even that won't be a major problem for Kang.

    Tony: Well, sounds to me like Kang is a guy with issues. And you know, I'll respect that. I mean, we've all got our foibles. I, for example, face many challenges on account of how unnaturally good looking I am. Kang's issues, however, seem to run pretty deep. I mean, if an angry bartender ran at me with a nail in a board, I would be unnerved, yes, and would attempt to extract myself from the situation as quickly as possible. Would I extract myself from an entire planetary invasion? Not so much.
    Kang's mask of bravado is going to come undone in this next fight. You could say he's going to get… *sunglasses* Monrolled.
    Doug: Yeah, I'd have to agree with Roger Daltrey and the Miami skyline on that one. That was a bit of a stretch.

    The Chief: Tough crowd. As always, polls close Friday, 9am MDT.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Ike Emerges Liked

    Dwight D. Eisenhower made Bill Clinton look like Adlai Stevenson in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ this week.
    Though unlike Stevenson, Clinton will be spared from having to meet Eisenhower again.
    Eisenhower vs. Clinton
    Dwight D. Eisenhower     34 (66.7%)
    Bill Clinton   17 (33.3%)

    We had a relatively high turnout this week, tying Reagan vs. Hayes for third-most votes in a week. However, the race came nowhere close to needing a tiebreaker. Even if it did, Ike had the solid support of the commentariat on his side. Leading the pack — both chronologically and, in our opinion, quality of comment:
    While brilliant, we'd hate to nitpick and point out that Eisenhower, like all officers during World War II were in the older Lost Generation. However, we'll chalk this slight error up to madness from having ingested iocane powder.

    And before you ask: yes, we're pretty sure the person Ike fought was Bill Clinton, and not his look-alike, Geroge.

    Eisenhower is scheduled to return to the Round of 16 and face Andrew Jackson Dec. 26. We have to say that we're generally excited about this matchup. Get it? Because they were generals. HEYO!


    Join us next week when James Monroe takes on Kang from The Simpsons.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Making a Billgrimage

    I recently moved to Fayetteville, Ark., which was the one-time home of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Both taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law in the mid-'70s until Bill was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976.

    The house that they owned is now open to the public. It's all part of "The Billgrimage," which I'll get into a bit later.

    The Clinton House Museum, as this house is now called, held a party last month celebrating Bill Clinton's 65th birthday.
    To celebrate, they offered cake, a performance from a saxophone quartet and plenty of Bill's favorite snacks: Moon Pies and RC Cola.
    You can take the guy out of Arkansas, but you really can't take the Arkansas out of the guy.

    I can understand Arkansas wanting to take attention away from its uglier bits of history and instead showcase the fact that a President of the United States came from here.

    Visitors to the Clinton House Museum get a free Official William J. Clinton Arkansas Passport.
    No, you don't need it to cross state lines.
    And like a real passport, you get it stamped every time you visit a "Billgrimage" location. They include his birthplace in Hope, his boyhood home in Hot Springs and places in Little Rock, for his years as attorney general and governor.

    Being the presidential history buff I am, I had figured that since I'm living here, I should check out all of the spots and get all four stamps in my passport. But now that I'm reconsidering it... I don't know.

    Little Rock is a 3-hour drive. I'd imagine I'd eventually find a reason to go there eventually. It's a mid-sized city nearish to Fayetteville (though Tulsa is closer). I could easily swing by during one of my trips.

    Hot Springs is a bit further than Little Rock, but there's other stuff to do there. For instance, one could check out the hot springs.

    Hope is a different story. Yeah, I don't know guys.
    That's a 4½-hour journey, and there's not much else to do there, nor is it it really in a spot of the state I'm rushing to get to. I don't know, maybe if I decided I needed to drive to Dallas one day (why would that ever happen?) and I decided that the 5½-hour trip just wasn't long enough (Why?) and I should tack on another 2 hours of driving (None of this sounds like me). Then I could swing by Hope.

    I don't know how likely any of that is. Why couldn't they all be walking distance from my house like the Clinton House Museum?
    If you haven't already voted in Clinton's match against Dwight Eisenhower (whose home state may or may not also have a tourism gimmick revolved around him), now's a wonderful time to do so.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Eisenhower vs. Clinton

    Oops! Almost forgot:
    We here at "Hail to the Chief... to the Death" intend that this blog be for entertainment and wise-ass only purposes. We do not condone, nor do we encourage, violence against any president, former or current, living or dead, real or fictional.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    34th President of the United States
    Served: 1953-1961
    Ages during term: 62-70

    ARENA EXPERIENCE: Eisenhower needed a tiebreaker to beat "President for a Day" David Rice Atchison in the 1st Round. It's the closest match we've had yet.

    PROS: He's a tough former athlete who excelled at military tactics; so much that he oversaw the largest amphibious invasion in history. A lot of Nazis died on his watch.

    CONS: He's in his 60s, so his age isn't really on his side. There's also the fact that despite his great military career, he has little experience with hand-to-hand combat.

    Bill Clinton
    42nd President of the United States
    Served: 1993-2001
    Age during term: 46-54

    ARENA EXPERIENCE: Clinton faced fellow Southern ex-governor Jimmy Carter in the first round, and walked out with 80% of the vote. Suck it, peanut-boy!

    PROS: An elusive character, Clinton's political life has see him play the Roadrunner to his opponents' Wile E. Coyote. He's also a young and dynamic presence (well, relative to the HttCttD bracket), unlike his competitor.

    CONS: A quick scan of Clinton's curriculum vitae indicates that he's not always thinking with the head you normally want to think with, so to speak. Add to that his alarming history of getting confused when presented with simple words, and you gotta worry about the guy.

    The Fight

    Tony: All right. I'll concede that militarily, Ike has an advantage. Clinton never served, and Ike's track record is obvious. If you're Ike, you're thinking, "I've got this whippersnapper right where I want him."

    And that's just the problem. Everyone always thinks they have Clinton right where they want him, and then suddenly Clinton is speeding off into the distance, and they're running off the edge of a cliff, realizing that they've run off a cliff, and subsequently dropping to the canyon floor below, possibly after holding up a small sign reading: "Help!" Clinton's the ultimate master at getting himself out of trouble. Now, add the fact that he's sixteen years younger than Ike, and then add the fact that Ike could barely beat out David Rice Atchison last time he was in the ring, and I think it's fairly obvious who's gonna win this one: the man from Hope.

    Doug: Yeah Ike barely got by the 1st Round. Let me remind you, he was fighting someone who 1) was 20 years younger than him, 2) whose "post-presidency" included leading and killing anti-abolitionists. So Ike had kind of a tough draw, but he prevailed.

    On the other hand, Clinton faced the guy who — according to some — nearly lost a wrestling match with a cutesy-wootsy widdle bunny rabbit. Clinton is in serious danger of resting on his laurels. Now he's going to have to enter the ring against an actual fighter.

    Tony: Tough draw? Tough draw? Ike should've swatted that one-day-only punk aside like he unworthy upstart he was! Instead, it was a knock-down, drag-out battle that probably messed Ike up, but good. Clinton's got all the momentum coming into this thing.

    Once again, Ike is facing down someone younger than himself. This time, that person has a distinct ability to get through tight scrapes. This time, Eisenhower's luck is going to run out.

    Doug: Yes, tough draw. I'll repeat it, since you repeated your question. Yes, tough draw. Atchison is the only one in the pool who went on to kill people after his "term," so he's a tough guy. Our voters were deadlocked, so they obviously thought he was as worthy of a fighter as Ike.
    Bless you, Internet, for your bring us pictures of Dwight D. Eisenhower as a boxer. (Image courtesy of these folks.)
    Clinton, however, dodged the draft. Do you think Ike helped mastermind the Normandy invasion so that snot-nosed kids like Clinton could avoid serving his country? No. Ike's not going to take that garbage.
    Tony: Of course, Ike then went on to fight the Normandy invasion single-handed, right? Oh, wait. No, he didn't. In fact, he never really fought in combat. Since Clinton didn't do that, either, I'd call their military experience (or lack thereof) a draw. Sorry, Ike. Meanwhile, Clinton is younger, healthier (by virtue of having access to late 20th-century medicine, at least), and knows how to get out of trouble at the drop of a hat.

    Clinton's entire strategy seems to rely on his opponents getting over confident, then making mistakes. He probably takes a few shots from Ike, just to lull the guy into a false sense of security. Then, whammo! He crushes Ike like a bug, exits the arena, picks up his saxophone, and serenades the crowd for an hour or two.
    And you KNOW what happens next.
    Doug: Precedent-based shenanigans!
    When you argued for Ike in the 1st Round, it was Normandy, Normandy, Normandy and me on the other end pointing out the he didn't do any actual fighting. I lost that match, so the fact that he didn't see any of the combat wasn't an issue.

    Okay, fine. Now when I try to mention Normandy, you're quick to point out that he didn't actually fight in that battle. So now it does make a difference after all? Or are we just switching it up for what ever is convenient for you?

    Regardless of Ike's involvement, he also has experience playing football for West Point. When Clinton was that age, he was busy not inhaling (he can't even toke properly). We probably shouldn't forget that Ike used to box as a younger man, which means that he has even the slightest bit of knowledge about how to fight, which is more we can say for Clinton. Clinton doesn't even know how to fight his craving for Big Macs. By the way, you know what's not good for your health (and could hurt your ability to fight)? A McDonald's-heavy diet.
    Tony: Precedent-based retort! When you argued for Atchison in the first round, you wrote, and I quote, "it should be noted that it wasn't Eisenhower himself who swam on the shores and defeated the Germans single-handedly. No, there were 175,000 Allied troops there." So wait, when you're arguing against Eisenhower, it's okay for you to point out his lack of actual combat activities, but when I do it, it's not? Or are we just switching if up for whatever is convenient for you?

    Boom, roasted!

    And yeah, Clinton liked himself some McDonalds. But did he ever have a heart attack? Well, no, thanks to that quintuple-bypass he underwent after leaving office, but that's not the point. Unlike Mr. Heart Attack McStrokey over here, Clinton's going to be in good shape for this fight.

    Doug: So, either way you cut it, I am AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT. I'm okay with that.

    Tony: Pretty sure that's not what I said, but go on.

    Doug: I'm totally fine with the admission that Ike helped mastermind, but not fight, the invasion. Anyone with that ability to plan out such a battle could easily take care of Clinton before the heart attacks or strokes even become an issue.

    The Chief: Okay! Well, whether or not you support the calling of shenanigans, it looks like we've got a fight on our hands, and the polls are now open! As always, you've got until 9am, MDT on Friday to vote. So, get to it! And let's hear some comments!

    Eisenhower vs. Clinton

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    One Out of Two is Actually Kinda Bad

    King Andrew vetoed James Dale's ticket to the Round of 16...
    ... and given the final vote count, it's not likely Congress is going to override this one — not like Congress dared to override any of Jackson's vetoes, but whatever.

    Jackson vs. Dale
    Andrew Jackson      18 (94.7%)
    James Dale     1  (5.3%)
    Jackson started the 2nd Round off with a bang, nearly earning a perfect win. Unlike other near-perfectos, the lone vote for Dale came in the beginning of the week, so there was no frantic reloading of pages late in the week to see if the shutout would stand. Just an overwhelming steamroller-like march to victory.

    This makes sense. After all, even Jackson's former foe knows that he's a force that won't be silenced easily.
    Okay, WHT, you got a tough break, having to face Jackson first. With all due respect, where else would we put you? It was nothing personal.

    Jackson will return to the Round of 16 scheduled for Dec. 26, which is — appropriately enough — Boxing Day. Next week, Dwight D. Eisenhower will face Bill Clinton.