Monday, February 28, 2011

Kang vs. Buchanan



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

PROS: Years of observing humans — For many Treehouse of Horror episodes, Kang and his sister, Kodos, are seen watching Earthlings from their craft in outer space and often comment on how puny we are.

They even know how to get elected president. They kidnap the two 1996 presidential nominees and walk the Earth as them. Even when Homer exposes them as aliens, Kang and Kodos know Americans will vote for them or throw their votes away on a third-party candidate.

Ross Perot has no chance against aliens, even though the
U.S. Constitution disqualifies them from becoming president.

Kang knows human behavior a little too well, which means he probably knows how to fight one.

Not Human — Kang's got a decent size advantage over any human combatant.


He also has about five or six prehensile tentacles. His limb count outnumbers any human.

CONS: Not Human — Who knows how long Kang could survive without his space helmet? Kang and Kodos were able to go on without them when they were posing as Clinton and Dole, but they still needed to occasionally exchange long protein strings.

And if you can think of a simpler way of doing so, they'd like to hear it.

Whatever it is that is in the Earth's atmosphere that kills Rigelians, will do so quicker once his heart — or whatever — gets going.

He retreats easily — True, in the end of Citizen Kang, he and his race had enslaved humanity, but that was only after being democratically elected.

You honor our intricate electoral system and your first order of business is
human enslavement?
Uh, 13th Amendment, guys. Not cool.

But in Treehouse of Horror II, when Lisa wished for world peace, all weapons were banned. Kang and Kodos easily waltzed in and took over. However, the moment Moe Szyslak got the idea of chasing the aliens away wielding a board with a nail in it, Kang and Kodos got out of there immediately. Alien invasion over.

I guess the difference is that in the this instance, they didn't first get the will of the electorate.

A board with a nail in it wouldn't be allowed in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™, but as weapons go, it's not very menacing. You could probably get the same reaction after a few well-placed punches.

James Buchanan
15th President of the United States
Served: 1857-1861
Ages during term: 65-69

Pros: Diplomatic — Prior to taking the presidency, Buchanan served as ambassador to Russia — well, they called him the Minister to Russia, for some reason — and later as Secretary of State. In the latter capacity, he negotiated a little thing called the Oregon Treaty, which established the northern boundary between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel. On the other hand, he also served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, during which time he helped draft something called the Ostend Manifesto, which argued that the U.S. should "acquire" Cuba through whatever means necessary. This went over about as well as a literate person at a Tea Party rally. So, kind of a mixed career, there.

Persistence — Buchanan's academic career (prior to all that political crap) had a slight hiccup when he was expelled from Dickinson College for "bad behavior." However, he managed to successfully plead for reinstatement, and he ended up graduating with honors. So, it was kind of a "bad boy makes good" situation. And who doesn't love a "bad boy makes good" situation?

Exactly...-ish

Cons:
Could not get off the damn fence — Seriously. About anything. Take the War of 1812. Buchanan opposed it... until the British were attacking Baltimore, at which point he gallantly managed to get off his ass and join the volunteers defending the city.

When the election of 1856 rolled around, Buchanan never officially said he would run for the Democratic nomination, but he never exactly told people not to nominate him. As president, he didn't want slavery expanded, but he did precisely jack-squat to stop it being implemented in Kansas.

And the best worst most ultimate example? He believed that secession from the Union was illegal... but he also thought that going to war to preserve the Union was also illegal. Thanks to this logical logjam, the Confederate States of America were formed after Buchanan's successor, one Abraham Lincoln, was elected. Buchanan? Called for a constitutional convention in response. That's bold leadership, right there.

Somewhat divisive — All of that wishy-washy crap meant that Buchanan constantly lacked supporters. Northern Democrats suspected him of wanting to expand slavery. Southern Democrats suspected him of wanting to abolish slavery. The party ended up imploding. Okay, granted, this led to Lincoln's election, so it was kind of good, but still. Look, when you're so divisive that, when you ask* Congress to give you the power to draw up militias to defend federal property from the Confederate States of America, and Congress says "no"? Maybe you're not the right person for the job. Just saying.

*You might wonder how we're squaring this request against the "well, he didn't do anything to stop secession" argument we put forward earlier. What happened was that after the South seceded, Buchanan re-arranged his Cabinet to root out any Southern sympathizers. His new Cabinet surveyed the situation and said "Uh, you might want to do something about this, boss." By then, though, it was too late.

Way to go, Buchanan. Way to go.

The Fight

Doug: Let me start off by saying that I've always considered myself to be staunchly against slavery. That being said, I think Kang's approach to slavery is preferable in this case, as it would serve him better in the ring. The very last scene of Citizen Kang shows that by Inauguration Day, humanity is enslaved and working on a ray gun pointing at some unknown planet. It's not the stance on slavery that I agree with, but at least we know exactly where Kang stands on the issue.

James Buchanan, on the other hand, who knows? He said he didn't want slavery expanded, but he didn't really stop it from expanding. Even his own party didn't know where he stood on the issue. It seems like he didn't even know. He wasn't very good at making decisions, and this will hurt him. "Should I punch Kang in his gigantic eye a few times and blind him, or should I try to disable some of his tentacles first? Oh, I don't know. Let's just see what happens."

C'mon, Old Buck. You're fighting a giant alien. Take some initiative.

Tony: Look, Buchanan may have sat on the fence so long, it became permanently affixed between his cheeks, but you know what? At least he could breathe the freaking air in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™. You just can't overlook that advantage. His indecision isn't going to count for much while Kang is writhing around in agony. Kang's only chance here is that, while his limbs are flailing, he manages to knock Buchanan over, and then Buchanan can't decide whether to get up or not. But even then, Kang still can't breathe. BIG ADVANTAGE: Buchanan.

Doug: Do you have any idea how exhausting running a successful presidential campaign is? Kang did it without the use of a space suit breathing an alien planet's air. True, he occasionally needed to hold his sister's hand for some biological reasons, but while he was giving speeches and taking part in public debates, he was doing it while breathing pure Earth's atmosphere. If he can spend all that time making public appearances without Rigelian air, he can spend a few minutes to mop the floor with Buchanan without any kind of respiratory emergency.

Tony: Ah, but I'm willing to bet that his ability to do so was thanks to his (admittedly superior) Rigelian technology. He's not going to have that advantage when he gets to the arena! Nor will he have his sister around to feed him protein or whatever that kinky shit was about. No, it's just going to be an overwhelmed, unprepared alien, facing off against a man who has finally decided that today is the day for him to stand up and maybe possibly think about the potential of making a stand.

Doug: Whoa! Let's put the brakes on this train before it pulls into Shenanigans Station.

Tony: I'm sorry, this train does not serve Shenanigans Station, it rolls straight through to Truth Towne. Truth Towne! Population: Not You.

Doug: We don't know how he was able to breathe for so long while he was posing as a human. Of course you're willing to bet it's because of his superior Rigelian technology. It would be very convenient for you if we just jumped to that conclusion, wouldn't it?

It could be some technological advance, or it could be some organ in his body that acts a reserve — like a camel's hump, but for air — for when he's on the go sans space helmet. It's never explained, so you can't go assuming, because when you do, you make an "ass" out of "u" and "Ming" the Merciless, Flash Gordon's arch nemesis.


Tony:
Wait — so when I conjecture about superior Rigelian technology, it's "convenient," but when you pull some magical air pouch out of your ass, it's reasonable? This does not compute. Look, we know the Rigelians have some sophisticated shit. But we've never heard anything about some reserve air organ. It's far, far more likely that technology is what's keeping Kang alive while he's campaigning for president. And that technology is destined to fail him when it's needed most.

Doug: I concede that Kang cannot survive indefinitely without some sort of help, but it's clear that he can survive long enough to kick Buchanan's wrinkly old ass. Wrinkly old ass? Yes, wrinkly old ass. You talk about how much of a scrapper he was during the War of 1812. However, like the name suggests, that was nearly a half-century before he entered the White House. Ancient history. And how much of a scrapper was he? I can't find anything saying he served with any kind of distinction. He volunteered, which is nothing to sneeze at, and that was it. It's not like he was fighting 10-foot-tall aliens.

Tony: Oh, of course his military action was long behind him by the time he got to the White House, but it was still military action in defense of his country! That's the sort of thing that stays with a man. In short, he wouldn't forget how to be a soldier before stepping into the arena. And when faced with as troubled an opponent as Kang—

THE CHIEF descends

Tony & Doug: The Chief!

The Chief: Oh, good, more well-reasoned bickering between the two of you. Look, it's clear that this week, you're asking the voters to make a simple choice: either Kang's survivability is based on unseen Rigelian tech, or on some undiscussed-but-natural physical function. If it's the former, then that tech will abandon Kang in the arena, and he will die. If it's the latter, Kang can most likely survive to the next round. Instead of the two of you going 'round and 'round on this for the next half-hour, let's just shut the two of you up and let our readers do what they're supposed to do: vote!

The polls are now open. They'll stay open until Friday, 9 a.m., MST. Until then, get your suffrage on and vote. Then get your pontification on and comment away on how you see this fight working out!

Kang vs. Buchanan



Friday, February 25, 2011

The Doctrine Is In

Don't call it a comeback.


As of yesterday morning, Thornton's president was trailing by a pretty big margin. Then his supporters came roaring in. Well, it's probably more fair to say "trickling in," as it wasn't enough to push him ahead of James Monroe.

Unnamed vs. Monroe
Unnamed President8 (36.4%)
James Monroe 14 (63.6%)

What it might boil down to is that the fact that Unnamed President doesn't have a painting of himself like the one of Monroe seen above. By the way, anyone have an idea why the painting shows the White House on fire? That happened on James Madison's watch, not Monroe's.

The comment of the week argues that fight all comes down to the name.


How good of a fighter could he be if the guy didn't have a name? Valid point — ignoring the irony that it's coming from an anonymous source.

By the way, that bit about the two Monroes being related needed some extra investigation. If you consult Google, the first item in the search essentially tells you this:

It sounds like a valid answer for about a fraction of a second. Then you realize, wait, that doesn't really answer the question at all. Mostly because Marilyn, like most people, was related to her own grandmother.

Digging deeper, I found that she said in her autobiography that she had been told that she was related to Mr. President at some point in her life, but there was no evidence to backing up a relation.

So what do all the people know about the Monroes? Apparently nothing.

James Monroe is scheduled to return for his 2nd Round match Sept. 19.
Next week, things get a little intergalactic as Kang from The Simpsons takes on James Buchanan.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Post of the Unnamed Presidents

This week's fight features a fictional president whose name we never learn. So for the purposes of this blog, we simply refer to Billy Bob Thornton's character in Love Actually as "Unnamed President." He's the only president in the bracket who is nameless. However, there are plenty of other nameless presidents featured in films and television that didn't make the bracket.

These are their stories.

E.G. Marshall


Marshall's president had the misfortune of being in office in Superman II when Superman gave up his powers AND Earth was visited by three native Kryptonians who had recently been able to break free from their imprisonment in the Phantom Zone.

This is a bad time to be president.

After General Zod, Ursa and Non tear shit up in the White House, the president pulls a Padmé Amidala and uses a decoy, only to come forward moments later to kneel before Zod.

Later, the president gets on TV and addresses the nation, and the world, to tell everyone that Zod's in charge of the planet. He then begs for Superman's help, but Superman's gone and Clark Kent just got his ass handed to him by a trucker in some diner.

It really was a bad time to be president.

In addition to playing the president in Superman II, Marshall has played George Washington, Grover Cleveland, Harry S Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower (twice).

Didn't make it because: The Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ is no place for that kind of wussery.

Stanley Anderson


Anderson holds the distinction of playing not one, but two unnamed presidents. After a group of rouge Marines seized a stockpile of rockets armed with deadly gas in the 1996 film The Rock, they seize control of Alcatraz Island during a guided tour and threaten to attack San Francisco with the rockets.


Anderson's president orders an air strike on the island, thereby neutralizing the gas, killing the terrorist, but also killing the 81 tourists being held hostage.

Two years later, this president — possibly the same president, re-elected in 1996, after the incident earlier that year — is called upon to inspire the nation, and the world, after an asteroid the size of Texas is discovered to be found heading for Earth in the 1998 film Armageddon.


At first, I was impressed that this guy was cast to play the president twice in two separate films until I realized that both The Rock and Armageddon were directed by Michael Bay.

The same year Armageddon was released, Anderson played the Judge Arthur Vandelay, who sentenced Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer to a year in jail in the series finale of Seinfeld.


Didn't make it because: To be honest, we didn't remember either The Rock or Armageddon having a president until someone pointed it out to us. You've gotta have some brand recognition to make this bracket. Also, having already included Tom Beck, we figured our quota for asteroid-themed disaster movies was met.

Daryl Philbin (as portrayed by Craig Robinson)


Philbin, who is already a fictional character, played the president in Michael Scott's Threat Level Midnight in last week's episode of The Office.

This president calls on Agent Michael Scarn to stop Goldenface from blowing up the NHL All-Star Game. At this point, Scarn had already saved the NFL All-Star Game, the NBA All-Star Game and the MLB All-Star Game, but was unable to prevent the WNBA All-Star Game from suffering an unspecified calamity. Still, going 3-1 in saving all-star games is usually considered pretty good.

We later find out that the president is in cahoots with Goldenface and is looking to blow up the stadium housing the NHL All-Star Game, which the president owns, for insurance money. But at the end of the movie, the president is inexplicably good again? To be honest, the plot of Threat Level Midnight is a little bit of a mess.

Really, this was the best episode of The Office in years. And it will probably be its last great episode since Steve Carell will be leaving at the end of the season, yet they'll be continuing the show.

Didn't make it because: To be honest, Philbin's president would have most definitely been included in the bracket had this episode aired two months earlier.

Bruce Grey

Grey portrayed an unnamed president in the 1996 Leslie Neilsen parody vehicle, Spy Hard. His presidency is seen only in a flashback sequence where we find out what happened when Nielsen's character, agent Dick Steele (which, what a strangely bland name), was part of the secret service. Those of you well-grounded in the Nielsen oeuvre can probably guess how that went.

We're told that the life of Grey's president was saved not through any help of Dick Steele's, but because he was a strong swimmer. It would be the last time Steele was put in the line of fire.

Didn't make it because: Swimming, while an excellent cardiovascular workout, won't help you in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™.

And speaking of the line of fire...

Jim Curley

We're going out on a limb here, considering that neither HttCttD author has seen In the Line of Fire. However, neither IMDB nor Wikipedia gives us a name for Jim Curley's president, the man whom Clint Eastwood was trying to save from John Malkovich. That seems rather unusual, given that the events of In the Line of Fire supposedly take place while Curley's president is running for re-election; you'd think there would be a sign some place giving Curley's president's name. Apparently not:


Didn't make it because: Again, being honest? We only heard of this guy about five minutes ago. So, tough luck.

Unfortunately for these fine actors, they could not be included in our tournament. You can show your support (or dislike) for unnamed presidents by voting in this week's poll if you haven't already.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Unnamed vs. Monroe


Unnamed President

(Portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton in Love Actually)
Age: Thornton was 48 when the movie was filmed

PROS: Slick — we don't know much about this guy, but we know he was something of a smooth operator. Indeed, he was charismatic, something of a lothario... It would help if maybe we knew something about the man they based the character on, but —

Oh.

Basically, what we're trying to say is, the guy was probably loaded with enough testosterone to make him a formidable adversary.

Obscurity — Obviously, there's a lot we don't know about this guy. On the other hand, doesn't that mean we can use him as a blank slate? Yes, commenters, the only limit to this man's powers is... your IMAGINATION!

CONS: Poor timing/impulse control — For those of you who haven't seen Love Actually, here's what goes down (don't worry, I'm only spoiling about 1/16th of the plot for you). So, we open with the election of a hot, dynamic, young, and single British prime minister. Again, it's hard to tell who this might be based on —

Oh. Well, except for the single part, I guess.

Anyway, our young PM is played by Hugh Grant. So, Hugh Grant's hot, dynamic, etc. PM soon meets Natalie, a hot, dynamic, young single lady. Well, by "meet," we mean that her job is to serve him tea. Anyway, chemistry ensues. Unfortunately, President Billy Bob arrives for a summit during the "we haven't really acted on any of this" phase, and wouldn't you know, Natalie is sent to deliver the president some tea. Whereupon Hugh Grant walks in to find them totally making out.

Awkward.

In response, Hugh Grant drops a little bomb on the president on his way out the door, and I'd totally show you what it was, but YouTube won't let me, so we'll all have to be content with a link. Which is a shame.

Fine, we'll throw in a picture, too.

Point is, president chucklepants over here may have damaged the United States' relationship with a crucial ally, just over some dame in a skirt. To be fair, surely he didn't know about the Hugh Grant/Natalie flirtatiousness... but we're guessing he didn't ask too much about her status, either. Nice going.

Obscurity — Remember everything I just said about how his character was a blank slate that we could project on? Well, we can project weaknesses as well as strengths, can't we? Just throwing that out there.

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

PROS: Surprisingly bad ass — While Monroe was attending the College of William & Mary, he joined a group that raided the arsenal Governor's Palace for weapons for the Williamsburg militia. He later dropped out of school to join the Continental Army.

During the Revolutionary War, Monroe was shot in the shoulder. He was also supposedly portrayed in two famous John Trumbull paintings.


And if Trumbull concentrated on one thing, it was historical accuracy in his paintings.

He claimed an ENTIRE hemisphere — In 1823, after much of Latin America had declared independence from their European colonial powers, he declared that the Americas should be free from future European colonization. The U.S. would stay neutral in wars involving still-existing colonies and their powers. But, he also declared that any act of aggression against a sovereign nation in the Western Hemisphere would be an act against the U.S.

There was no way the U.S. had the military to back up the Monroe Doctrine. Europe could have just ignored this talk from a still-wet-behind-the-ears nation and recolonized Latin America, but they didn't. Britain even agreed to help the U.S. enforce the doctrine, even though these two nations had just finished fighting less than a decade earlier.

Monroe said. It happened. End of story. And it shaped the future of U.S. foreign policy.

CONS: Not used to real opposition — Monroe, a Democratic-Republican, had the advantage of running for president just as their rival Federalist Party was dissolving. In 1816, Monroe easily beat Federalist candidate, Rufus King, with 68% of the popular vote. By the time 1820 rolled around, the Federalists only remained in a few states, so they had no candidate. As a result, Monroe ran unopposed, though a New Hampshire elector threw a vote towards John Quincy Adams. He and George Washington remain the only presidential candidates to run unopposed. (George Washington did it twice. But, c'mon, he was Washington.)

I sure hope he doesn't expect the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ to be as easy as the Election of 1820. Because, let me tell you; it's not.


Maybe his anger for New Hampshire Elector William Plumer could fuel Monroe's ire.

He was the last of a dying breed — Monroe was the last president to have fought in the Revolutionary War. He was the last to wear powdered wigs knee breeches. He even tried to be like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and up and died on the fifth anniversary of their deaths.

Monroe signals the end of a generation. Albeit, it's probably the greatest in our nation's history (you want to fight us on this one, Brokaw?) but how much fight is left in these scrappy folks by the time Monroe takes office?

The Fight

Doug: Both President Skirt Chaser — would it have killed Richard Curtis to name the president? — and James Monroe would be remembered for their foreign policy. Monroe, in a well-calculated move, proclaimed our spot on the world stage and told Europe to stay out of the Western Hemisphere and they did. President First Base, on the other hand, shot the U.S. in the foot and made us looking like Yankee cowboy assholes, which is not something we were used to in 2003.

Tony: Whoa, we weren't used to looking like Yankee cowboy assholes in 2003? Really? I'm pretty sure that's not the case. I mean, we had to have at least used up our supply of post-2001 good vibes by then, otherwise, there wouldn't have been that super-British-pride involved in the press conference scene.

Doug: Ugh. Your sarcasm detector is on the fritz. Of course we were used to looking like YCAs in 2003. We bullied other nations into helping us invade another nation all on false pretenses.

Tony: We sure as hell did! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Wait...

Doug: Anyway, Mr. No Name is going to go into the arena with absolutely no plan. He'll just go in as his slick self and hope that it works. It didn't work with...


... The Prime Minister? Wait, Hugh Grant's character didn't have a name either? You're killing me, Curtis. I know that movie had, like, 50-something central characters, but if you run out of fake names, just go to the phone book and pick a first and last name at random.

I digress. The President's impulsive nature may have gotten him into the White House, and into the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ by extension, but it also gets him into trouble. And when it does, shit goes south.

Tony: See, I don't know if the president's "no plan" plan didn't work. I mean, think about it — he basically gets everything he wants out of the summit itself. Then, at the end, PM Poncey-pants finally grows a pair and says "well, next time, you'd better watch out." But that's all talk. The next time they get together, the president is probably just going to bitch-slap the little snot back into line.

Doug: Okay, you raise a good point. Next time, the PM might lose his nerve and allow himself to get kicked around by the president again. However, there is no next time in the arena. Just a decorated Revolutionary War veteran who won't take any shit.

Tony: Meh, I dunno if Unnamed is going to be intimidated by Monroe. He's probably just going to see someone dressed up for a costume party. Easy pickings!

Doug: Well, since we're allowed to make up things about Unnamed, then I give him hemophilia. Dude can't stop bleeding. Ooh, tough break. Blood is everywhere. It's not long before the place looks like a fake Sam Peckinpah film.



Tony: If we're making stuff up — then I give Mr. Unnamed President a Hulk-like reaction to wig powder. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!



Doug: I imagine that whole thing might be quite frightening. I mean for Mr. Unnamed. He was born over a century after powdered wigs fell out of fashion. And it's not like they came back later with a different name, like bellbottoms / flares, they just disappeared completely. This is is first time being exposed to wig powder, so when he transforms into the Hulk, there must be a few moments of "What the hell is happening to me?" before he realizes that this transformation makes him stronger. Monroe didn't back away from the Hessians in the Battle of Trenton, I can't imagine he'd stop here. By that time, I'm sure Monroe had broken skin somewhere.

Tony: You're not wrong about Unnamed freaking out when he transforms for what is likely the first time, but I'd remind you that the original Hulk probably went through the same thing, and he didn't wind up curling into the fetal position. Instead, he broke shit. Ergo, Monroe's not going to need a Doctorine...


... he's gonna need a Doctor.


As always, polls close Friday, 9 a.m. Mountain Time.

Vote & comment!

Unnamed vs. Monroe

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Did Not Have a Physical Fight With That President

Bill Clinton feels Carter's pain.

And with good reason; Clinton really doled it out. (See what I just did there?)

Clinton vs. Carter

Bill Clinton24 (80%)
Jimmy Carter 6 (20%)

Unlike the 1992 and '96 Presidential Elections, Clinton was able to get more than 50% of the vote. I guess it's a good thing that Ross Perot wasn't involved to muck things up.

This fight was marked with both an appreciated upswing in voters (welcome, new readers) and an interesting comment war.

This back-and-forth had everything: threats to alter Wikipedia articles to include lies, combatants faking anaphylactic shock, the infamous blue dress, cross-dressing, and icing people like characters from The Sims. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to call rules violations on these comments for a number of reasons. For example, the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™ doesn't allow participants to bring anything into the ring. This includes saxophones, epinephrine pens and materials for building a house. The dress, however, would be allowed, provided one of the combatants is wearing it.

Also, starting a fire in the middle of the ring — again, bringing materials to start a fire is verboten — would earn us a visit from the Fire Marshal, who will shut us down before we're one-eighth done with the 1st Round, which we don't want.

Besides, if you really want to off one of your Sims, everyone knows the best way of doing so is to get them into a swimming pool and take away the ladder so that they drown. I'd include a video, but it's pretty upsetting to watch Sims die, unless it's of old age and they've had a good life.



That's the way to go. The Grim Reaper shows up with some suitcases and some hula girls and you willingly head off into the unknown. Not burning alive in a Habitat for Humanity house while spectators cheer.

Bill Clinton moves on to the 2nd Round and is scheduled to face Dwight D. Eisenhower Sept. 12.
Stay tuned next week when James Monroe takes on the Unnamed President from Love Actually played by Billy Bob Thornton.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Live From the Oval Office!

Really, we here at HttCttD could go on and on about the similarities between this week's combatants, William J. Clinton and James E. Carter. After all, they're both late-20th century presidents who assumed the presidency after governing a Southern state in relative obscurity. They both had/have lust in their heart. They both went primarily by nicknames, and their last names start with C! I mean, come on!

"Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaa..."

Anyway, all this talk of their similarities is just a weak excuse to get to the heart of this post: the fact that both presidents, given that they served later than 1975, have found themselves lampooned on Saturday Night Live. And since there's nothing funnier than a rigorous analysis of comedy, let's talk about how those impressions played out!

First, Carter. Carter was the second president to get hit by SNL, following the brief overlap of the Ford Administration with SNL's run. The task of impersonating Carter was given to the young Dan Aykroyd, and while clips from that era are a bit thin on the Internet ground these days, we can unearth some clips that show us just what Aykroyd was doing with the part:

(Here, too, we need to pause a moment and apologize to any international viewers, as the only strictly legal source for SNL clips is Hulu, which does not work outside of the United States. We can report, however, that there are ways around these restrictions, if you know where to look. Ahem. Moving on...)


So, was that a good impression? I'd say no. After all, not only did they have an impersonator who didn't really look like Jimmy Carter, he didn't really sound like Jimmy Carter, either. He just had a vague attempt at a Georgian accent, and let the material do the rest. Given that this was when SNL was, you know, cutting edge television, it seems reasonable to expect that would work. (Although, slight caveat. Since only one of the HttCttD authors was even alive during the Carter administration, our perceptions of what makes for a good Carter impression may be a little off.)

We should also take into account that Aykroyd's Carter is streets ahead of Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford impression, where Chase put absolutely no effort into looking or sounding like Ford.

Clinton, on the other hand, was portrayed by a few different people. Here's Phil Hartman taking a stab at it:


Not a bad take, per se, though it seemed to be lacking a little... something. When Hartman left the cast in 1994, SNL put the thing up for an audition process:


However, the part was eventually taken by a man who would truly make it his own. That's right: Darrell Hammond, who joined the cast the following season. Sadly, few clips of Hammond's tenure are available, so let's go with one that clearly aired in the post-Clinton world:


Now, that's Clinton! He's got the look, the sound, the general demeanor of William J. Clinton down pat. Well, down pat in a slightly-exaggerated manner, but still.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that Hammond was also able to do a spot on Carter as well.


We hope you've enjoyed this look back at presidential impersonations! The Clinton/Carter battle rages on in the previous post; vote and comment away!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Clinton vs. Carter


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

PROS: Elusiveness — I mean, the man could weasel out of anything. And I'm not just talking about various extra-marital affairs (though trust me, we'll get there). In the early stages of the 1992 Democratic Primaries, Clinton found himself sinking in the polls following charges of sexual misconduct (again, we'll get to that). After he and his wife Hillary went on 60 Minutes, Clinton's poll numbers rebounded enough that, even though he didn't win the somewhat-important Massachusetts primary, he came to be called "The Comeback Kid."

"And I'm only getting started."

Later, after Clinton's administration failed to pass a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's health care system, the Democratic party got clobbered in the 1994 elections and lost control of Congress. Was Clinton finished? Not at all! And was he finished when, in 1995 and 1996, the Federal Government was shut down for a total of 26 days due to Clinton playing a game of economic chicken with the then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich? In fact, his approval ratings soared to the highest levels he'd seen since his inauguration! And finally, was he finished when he got impeached? Ha!

Actually kind of cool — Think about it — how many U.S. presidents have been legitimately cool? Not too many. But with Clinton, you got this:

Arsenio Hall couldn't quite believe what was going on.
Neither could America, for that matter.

You also got a moment in 1994, inexplicably missing from the Internet, where during an MTV-sponsored event where the President took questions from Young People, a giggling 17-year old asked the Leader of the Free World if he wore "boxers or briefs."

The point is this: Clinton was born in 1946, placing him firmly at the front of a little movement you've probably heard about: the Baby Boom. Clinton's election brought that generation into power; even though said generation used to define itself by its antipathy towards The Man, they could no longer escape the fact that they were now, very much, The Man now, Dog. Clinton's coolness, his personal charisma, marked him as the perfect leader for such a movement — otherwise, he'd have never been asked about his drawers. Now, how would that help him in the arena? Good question! But we'd wager it's hard to fight a guy you just can't stay mad at.

CONS: The slight inability to keep it in his pants — Yes, we're finally getting to it. What do Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and of course, Monica Lewinsky have in common?

That's right, ladies.

Now, okay, Clinton is hardly the first president in U.S. History to have stepped out of bounds while in office. What sets him apart is that his indiscretions led to his being impeached by the House of Representatives. Oopsie. In terms of the fight, we figure it would be tough to engage in hand-to-hand combat while in the middle of a case of "it burns when I pee." Food for thought.

Easily confused at times — I'm just going to leave this here:


I mean, I get that he was trying to be evasive and all, but... yeeesh.

Jimmy Carter
39th President of the United States
Served: 1977-1981
Age during term: 52-56

PROS: Lots of post-presidential mileage — Being president is stressful and Carter's term was particularly bad. Stagflation, energy crisis, hostages and he was getting blamed for all of it.

Despite this fact, he has the second-longest retirement of any president, which just passed 30 years last month. Only Herbert Hoover had a longer post-presidential life span at just over 31 years and 6 months.

Though we didn't know it at the time, Carter had a lot of life left in him in the late '70s.

He sees into the FUTURE — Instead of relying on foreign oil, which muddied up U.S. foreign policy, he wanted to wean us off relying on the Middle East. He got on TV and told everyone to turn the thermostat down and to put on a damn sweater. He also added solar panels to the White House, hoping to set an example to the rest of the nation.

Americans didn't want to hear that they'd have to alter their behavior. They elected someone who would ignore all of this nonsense and remove those stupid solar panels.

Reagan's Special Envoy to the Middle East, Donald Rumsfeld, shaking hands
with America's BF"F", Iraqi Dictator, Saddam Hussein

Thirty years later, the Middle East is still a mess and we're still depending on them for oil. The green energy move only started to really take hold a in the past few years, but only after Americans were forced to pay $4/gallon to gas up their inefficient and needlessly oversized SUVs.

Carter can either see the future, or he's sensible way beyond popular opinion. If it's the former, then he'll be able to anticipate his opponent's moves.

CONS: But let's all be honest, it's most likely the latter; sensible way beyond popular opinion.

Peaceful — The Independent reported that Carter is seen as a better man than he was a president. Say what you will about Carter's presidency, he was a peacemaker and a humanitarian. This, sadly, makes you a bad president.

It's hardly a leap to assume that these attributes would make him an even worse combatant in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™.

After he left the White House, he continued doing whatever makes you a bad president but a good person. In the past decade, he's won a Nobel Peace Prize, criticized British Prime Minister Tony Blair for blindly following the U.S. into a war in Iraq and, in 2008, called for the next president to apologize for torture that allegedly occurred at Guantanamo Bay.

Carter has always had a "Shit, you assholes hate me already. What the fuck do I care what you think of me now?" approach, except he's way too nice to put it that way.

No Fighting Experience — The very idea of engaging someone else in a fight is as about anti-Carter as one could get brings up the point that his fighting experience is lacking.

He had a brief career in the Navy, and he saw his future working in the fledgling nuclear submarine program. However, he left the Navy when his father died.

That's about as warlike as Carter got and it was short-lived.

The Fight

Doug: First, let's disregard the fact that these people have met several times and have even worked together on humanitarian efforts. Jimmy Carter will enter the arena with a major advantage — the element of surprise. C'mon, who is Carter going to hit? No one. And everyone knows that. Some presidents would take advantage of this fact. Jackson, I'd imagine, would show no mercy. Bill Clinton, however, is not a raging dick — okay, poor choice of words.

Who could hit the peacemaker who exudes kindness, anyway? Clinton will go in thinking he can go easy and then...


Carter lays one into Clinton.
"What is this?" Clinton thinks, only he has no idea what the meaning of "is" is. Then:

Carter has gotten two, well-placed hits. I don't know. Carter could totally bring it to the arena.

Tony: Here's the thing with Carter: what fuels him? What drives him to transform from a global crusader for peace and justice into a cold-blooded gladiator? Here's what: nothing. I mean, maybe he'd be pissed off at not winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978? Except then he won one in 2002, so I don't know how that tracks. Maybe he'd be fueled by fear that the Olympians he screwed over in 1980 were tracking him down?

Someone like this guy, for example.

But, whatever, let's say Carter does manage to get in a few cuts. He's going against THE COMEBACK KID! I don't think Clinton's gonna let a couple jabs from some lousy peanut farmer derail him. He's gonna come strong and he's gonna come hard.

I... could have phrased that better.

I think this match comes down to two words: Swamp Rabbit. If Carter couldn't defend himself from one of those, he's got no chance in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™.

Doug: You know what fuels Jimmy Carter? He's sick of everyone saying that he was attacked by a swamp rabbit. If you believe that Carter was attacked by a swamp rabbit, then you probably also believe that Al Gore said the words, "I invented the Internet."

Here's what actually happened. Carter was solo fishing in a boat in Plains, Ga., (which means he was sitting in a boat and he probably had Secret Service men on the shore) when he noticed some a rabbit swimming towards his boat making strange hissing noises. Carter splashed it with a paddle and the rabbit turned around. End of story.

He returned to Washington, told the story to a few people as kind of a "Hey guys, you'll never believe what happened. Blah blah blah, swamp rabbit. Isn't that weird?" story. White House press secretary told someone from The Associated Press, who put the story on the wire. Then, newspapers ran a story saying that this happened:


And the whole world went on thinking that the president was attacked by a bunny, and to this day, people still believe he was unable to defend himself against a rabbit. If that's not enough to piss him off, then how about the fact that everyone seems to think that he said that there was a feeling of "national malaise," when he never said that.

This is Carter's chance to set the record straight, and he's going to do so with his fists.

Tony: Listen, I read the rabbit thing in Doonesbury, and if it's in Doonesbury, it's got to be true. QED.

I'll give you the national malaise thing, but this leads to another point in Clinton's favor. Carter may have never uttered the words "national malaise," but it's not like his years as president were really Party Times for America. Stagflation? Not a pleasant time for the economy. Compare and contrast to the Clinton years, which featured the longest period of economic growth for the country in history. That? Is gonna give you a swagger.

Pictured: Swagger, personified.

Carter may open strong, and he may open with a bout of righteous fury, but Clinton's got the power and endurance to win this bout. Hands down.

Okay, now before we turn this over to the voters, first, a word from...

Doug & Tony: The Chief!

THE CHIEF descends

The Chief: Thanks as always, boys. Now, I just wanted to take a moment, since this is our first match featuring not one, but two presidents who are both real, and still living, to clarify the point that we at HttCttD do not condone actual violence against any president, real or fictional, living or deceased. Given that, for this week's match, we ask for you not to envision these men in a fight to the death, but rather that they will battle to place one another into a very long, deep, and restful sleep.

Now, readers, go forth and vote! Remember, once you've voted, drop us a line in the comments to let us know why you voted the way you did. Your comment could end up being a tiebreaker!

Clinton vs. Carter


Friday, February 11, 2011

¡Ike Carumba!

Dwight D. Eisenhower went all Omaha Beach on David Rice Atchison.

Only it wasn't all that decisive.

Eisenhower vs. Atchison

Dwight D. Eisenhower
7 (50%)
David Rice Atchison 7 (50%)

For the first time, we had to employ some sort of tiebreaker. We had no official tiebreaker on the books, so much like when William Henry Harrison died while in office, we had to make a decision on the spot and hope that the electorate accepted it with as little civil unrest as possible. Only, for us, our decision wasn't as easy as just giving the vice president the keys to the Oval Office.

We decided to count comments. While the vote was split at 7, the comments section was decidedly in favor of Eisenhower.

And leading the charge of pro-Ike comments was Elsinore524:

Which begs a very important philosophical question: What is a sleeping racist without his mob?

In the meantime, the HttCttD Staff will work feverishly on getting tiebreaker rules on the books.

Now, about this low-voter turnout.

We here at HttCttD HQ would like to remind you that despite the fact that we're dealing with two people fighting each other mano-a-mano, this is NOT Fight Club. You CAN talk about Hail to the Chief... to the Death. To anyone.

Unfortunately, a Super Bowl ad was just a few million dollars out of our advertising budget, so we're pretty much depending on word of mouth.

Tell friends, tell co-workers and share our links. The more people who get involved the more fun it is for everyone.

That being said, thank you to our loyal readers and voters.

Keep reading.
Keep voting.
And keep commenting.

Dwight D. Eisenhower's 2nd Round fight is scheduled to take place Sept. 12.
Stay tuned next week as two Southern Democrats from the late 20th century enter the arena. Bill Clinton vs. Jimmy Carter.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

John Hanson — Not Here for a Reason

Don't believe that David Rice Atchison belongs in the bracket because he was never technically president? Don't worry. We here at HttCttD drew the line somewhere, and that meant leaving out John Hanson, supposed first President of the United States.


"Did you know that George Washington wasn't the first President of the United States?"

I've heard this claim a few times before and you can read all about it here. Or I can just sum it up for you in one paragraph.

The United States declared independence from England in 1776 and George Washington became president in 1789. Who was president in those 13 years? Well, there were supposedly seven presidents before Washington under the Articles of Confederation, which was adopted in 1781. That year, John Hanson was made President of the Continental Congress. He served for a year, and was followed by six others before the U.S. Constitution was adopted.

So clearly, people who say that Washington was our first president are trying to ignore truths in history and all that.

That's what happens when you believe lame-stream history books

EXCEPT, let me repeat his title. President of the Continental Congress. NOT President of the United States. Just because he was a president in the United States, that doesn't make him a President of the United States.

The title President of the Continental Congress means exactly what it sounds like. He was the head of the Congress. Kind of like the Speaker of the House, only less important. Under the Articles of Confederation, there was no executive branch, so there was no president that ruled over the entire country.

A government with no executive branch? How well did that work?

Not well at all. The system was scrapped within a decade after a poor farmer led a rebellion in Massachusetts. Following Shay's Rebellion, George Washington came out of retirement and said that not having an executive branch is silly.

There's also the fact that Hanson wasn't even the first President of the Continental Congress. Oh, he was first after the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, but his title had been in existence since 1774, before the American Revolution even started.

Hanson was actually ninth. And it's not like his predecessors were a bunch of unknowns.

Oh yeah. The guy who presided over this Congress as it ratified
one of the most-important documents in our history.

So, not only was John Hanson never President of the United States, he wasn't even first to hold the presidential post that he did hold.

This helps to explain why Hanson is not included our tournament.

NOT ONLY are there people claiming that he was the first President of the United States. Some are saying that he was black.

Yes, the claim is that a black person from Maryland — a state that wouldn't abolish slavery for almost another century — was picked as a representative in the Continental Congress. And then, the delegates — many of whom owned slaves — picked this man to head that Congress.


There's also the logistical problem that he appears to be white in every single portrait.

Well, except for this one photograph.

Well, I'm sold. John Hanson was black.

Yes, this is a John Hanson, but not the same one. This Hanson was a senator in Liberia, a nation founded nearly 40 years after the other Hanson died.

Of course, there's also the fact that, like the nation of Liberia, photography didn't exist in the earlier Hanson's time.

So, next time someone tells you that the first President of the United States was actually black, and that they have photographic proof. Please dare them squeeze more fails into a single sentence.

Also, tell them that they have until Friday 9 a.m. to vote in the Eisenhower vs. Atchison fight, which can be found in the previous post.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Eisenhower vs. Atchison

Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th President of the United States
Served: 1953-1961
Age During Term: 62-70
PROS: He stopped the freaking Nazis. Shouldn't that be enough for you? No? Well, how about...

ToughnessEisenhower's military career started in 1911, when he enrolled in West Point. After failing to make the baseball team, he walked onto the academy's football team. Keep in mind this was a full 5 years after Teddy Roosevelt bullied the sport into accepting the forward pass as a way to prevent people from dying while playing. Eisenhower became one of the cadets' stars, managing to tackle Jim Thorpe in a 1912 contest. And you know the deal about Thorpe...



Tactics and TactFollowing his graduation from West Point, Eisenhower kicked around the Army a little bit, studying military history and tactics wherever he could. He eventually wound up discussing tank warfare tactics with none other than George S. Patton. Their ideas would initially find little purchase with the upper echelons of the Army, but would become crucial during that little dust-up called the Second World War. And about WWII... He started the war as part of the team drawing up the official Allied Battle Plan for both the European and Pacific theatres. Before long, he was leading that unit. This turned out to be the template for him throughout the entire war: show up somewhere, wind up in charge. He let this wave ride him all the way up the chain until he was basically running the entire Allied show in Europe. No small feat, considering the amount of people he had to finesse, all while preparing for and executing the largest amphibious invasion in history. Bottom line: Ike got shit done.

Cons: Age?It would be hard for most people to win a fight to the death at 62 years old, although it should be pointed out that such age is hardly uncommon in this tournament. Still, his opponent has 20 years on him, so Ike is going to need to tread carefully.

Lack of combat experienceThough his career began around the same time as World War I, Eisenhower was never deployed in that particular scrap. Since shooting engagements were few and far between in the mid-war period, Eisenhower ended up leading the Army despite having precisely no combat experience. That lack of experience clearly didn't hurt then — might it hurt in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™?

Also — how do you get from "Dwight" to "Ike"? Can someone explain this?

David Rice Atchison

"President of the United States for One Day"
Served: March 4, 1849
Age during term: 41

HttCttD NOTE: As James K. Polk's term ended on March 4, 1849, Zachary Taylor was scheduled to take office that day. However, since that was a Sunday, Taylor refused to hold the inauguration on that day. Since Taylor and his vice president, Millard Fillmore, did not take the oath, it is believed by some that the President pro tempore of the United States Senate would have been considered president until Taylor took the oath. And that was David Rice Atchison.

PROS: Youthful and stress-free — Atchison may be the youngest one in the pool.

Also, you know how they say one four-year term ages a president 10 years? Atchison didn't serve four years. He "served" one day. Maybe, in keeping with that logic, it could be argued that he aged 2 1/2 days on that day. However, he later told a St. Louis newspaper that he spent much of the day catching up on sleep. Doesn't sound like much of a stressful term in office.

Post-"presidential" badassery — Most post-presidential careers involve retiring quietly. Atchison's retirement wasn't all that quiet. He killed people after his "term."

When Kansas was to be admitted into the Union and the question of it being a slave or a free-soil state would be put up to the voters, Atchison recruited an armed mob known as the "Border Ruffians." Their mission statement was quite clear: "to kill every God-damned abolitionist in the district." When the state legislation was up for its first election, the ruffians seized control of polling places and cast fraudulent votes for pro-slavery candidates.

He also served as a general in the Missouri State Guard when the Civil War broke out.

CONS: No back-up, weapons or motivation — We're yet to see how Atchison handles fighting when he's not surrounded by an angry, armed mob. Also, he only seems interested in fighting to keep slaves. Maybe he can psych himself into believing that his opponents in the arena are abolitionists.

Disqualification? — A lot of people don't consider Atchison to have served as president for one day. Himself included.

This was back in the day when the president, vice president and members of Congress took office on the same day. So, while Taylor and Fillmore didn't take the oath, neither did Atchison as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate of the 31st Congress.

So did we have no government? Just plain ol' anarchy for 24 hours?

No. Even though Taylor didn't take the oath that Sunday, he became president. Had Taylor or Fillmore been incapacitated that day, then, yes, Atchison would have become president. That's not the case here.

So, how did he get into the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™?

I don't know. Look at his tombstone.

Though, there's no presidential seal.

The Fight
Doug: Granted, Eisenhower was a brilliant military mind. Having him as general during World War II was like playing Risk where your dice only roll fives and sixes. However, as was already pointed out, his history of hand-to-hand combat is lacking.

You also forgot to mention Eisenhower's health issues. He suffered a heart attack in 1955 which led to a few other problems, including a stroke in 1957. Even if he's fighting at the beginning of his term, Ike doesn't seem to have much of a fight in him.

Tony: Okay, here's my thing on Atchison: he never considered himself a "real" president. Wouldn't it stand to reason that, upon being thrown into a death match for presidents, he would get a little huffy? Maybe start pouting a bit? I think Eisenhower seizes on that weakness and steamrolls him.

And, yeah, Eisenhower had health problems, natch. However — you know who else has health problems? All the Nazis Eisenhower killed. Really, I don't think we can overlook this.

I will grant that Atchison may have a higher upside than Eisenhower, in terms of battle and whatnot, but Eisenhower is someone who already knows what he can do. You don't have time to discover yourself in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™.

Doug: I imagine Atchison would be bewildered to learn that he was included in this Oval Office Battle Royale. He may protest the idea and remark at how silly it is (actually, I imagine most of the presidents would find this silly). However, once he found himself in the ring, I can't imagine he'd stand idly by while some 60-something-year-old dude starts swinging at him. Aww, hell no!

Especially once Atchison learns Eisenhower's record with civil rights.
"What? You personally proposed and signed the first Civil Rights Act since 1875? And helped implement racial integration of public schools?"

Atchison would then become blind with fury. Suddenly, he's not in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™, he's in Kansas, circa 1855. And he's not seeing Dwight D. Eisenhower, legitimate former President of the United States. He's picturing some damned abolitionist who wants to make it illegal to own another person as property.

Tony: Yeah, what happened to the last people who tried to bust about nonsense about racial superiority around Eisenhower? MOTHERFUCKING NORMANDY. Seriously, you might as well call Ike a real-life Ark of the Covenant.

Meanwhile, who exactly is going to be whispering Eisenhower's record into Atchison's ear? Did someone in the crowd put heavy money on the one-day wonder? Did they need to make sure he got whipped into a frenzy?

Look, there are some fundamental differences between the two, but I think it comes down to this: Atchison was a regressive. He didn't like change. Especially when that change involved giving up the right to keep others in bondage. Eisenhower, meanwhile, was all about progress and modernity. Aside from the Civil Rights initiatives you referred to, he championed the Interstate Highway system, and helped get a little thing called NASA started.

At the same time, he wasn't afraid to get dirty, as all of this little CIA programs showed. Atchison better watch himself. I mean, I assume he was going to, given the circumstances, but... I'm just saying.

Doug: Okay, maybe it's time we get real about a few things. D-Day was possibly one of the finest military offensives of the 20th century, if not ever. And, yes, it was engineered in part by Eisenhower. But for the most part, people's faces did not melt.

Not Eisenhower's doing

And 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.

I suppose we never got into if competitors have an opportunity to learn about their enemies before a fight of if they're roused from bed, get a pillow case thrown over their heads, taken straight to the arena and told to fight the other person. I imagine it's somewhere in the middle. If Atchison doesn't get to learn about Eisenhower's record, then Ike shouldn't be privy to Atchison's abolitionist-killing ways.

Either way, Ike can't hide behind Allied troops or the CIA. It's just him. And he has to stop a pissed off 41-year-old who doesn't know how he ended up in this arena.

Tony: Okay, you've lost me. Next thing I know, you'll be telling me that Ronald Reagan didn't single-handedly defeat Communism! What a silly jest that would be!

To be serious, of course Eisenhower didn't Captain America the Third Reich into dust. His record, though, shows he was someone who could turn any situation to his advantage, and good tactics are usually a good foil for blind frothing rage.

I kind of like the idea of neither combatant knowing who the hell they're dealing with. They only know they must kill. So diabolical!

Eisenhower vs. Atchison

Friday, February 4, 2011

Warren G. Fails To Regulate

It was a clear black night, a clear white moon.


However, Warren G. Harding was unable to regulate. Perhaps he needed the help of Nate Dogg.

Dale vs. Harding

James Dale8 (57.1%)
Warren G. Harding 6 (42.9%)

Voter turnout was significantly lower, which makes Benjamin Franklin cry. However it was a much tighter race.

The comments section was pretty quiet as to why anyone would vote for Harding. Though a reader did tell us that Nicholson "was just an idiot in that movie."

Nikki Sixx brought up a valid point as to why one would vote for James Dale.

Though, I have to risk a beyond-the-grave shellacking from Jackson and say that Natalie Portman was utterly delightful in Beautiful Girls.


Though, it should be noted that between Mars Attacks!, The Professional, Beautiful Girls and Anywhere But Here, she's under age in all but the latter.

James Dale's 2nd Round fight against Andrew Jackson is scheduled to take place Sept. 5.
Stay tuned for our next fight — Dwight D. Eisenhower vs. David Rice Atchison.

See you Monday!