The Phony Campaign

2015-08-30 Update

No changes this week in our phony lineup, according to our arbitrary PredictWise criterion. Jeb! increases his solid phony lead on the pack:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-08-23
"Jeb Bush" phony 2,340,000 +620,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 490,000 +79,000
"Donald Trump" phony 343,000 +7,000
"John Kasich" phony 185,000 -12,000
"Joe Biden" phony 168,000 +8,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 122,000 -9,000
"Scott Walker" phony 115,000 -9,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 104,000 -1,000

In the phony news this week:

  • Michael Kinsley (of all people) writes in Vanity Fair (of all places) some surprising wisdom:

    […] the biggest problem with American politics is phony umbrage: invented issues that substitute for serious debate. They allow candidates to climb onto their high horses and go nowhere important. They allow voters to avoid thinking about the choices this country needs to make. Yet they often dominate the political debate.

    Kinsley is well-known for occasional non-ideological insights, and this is one of those times. His general topic is "what may be the the worst editorial that has ever graced" the pages of the New York Times. That's a high bar to clear.

  • Been wondering why the media ignores Bernie Sanders? Find out the awful truth in "Why The Media Ignores Bernie Sanders". Samuel Warde connects the dots.

    See if you can follow what Warde bills as "proof": (1) Warde lives in Colorado; (2) one of his news sources is Denver's channel 9; (3) which is owned by TEGNA Media; (4) in which Carl C. Icahn has a 7% ownership stake; (5) Icahn has been named-dropped by Donald Trump as his (hypothetical) Secretary of the Treasury or (again, hypothetical) chief trade negotiator in the (even more hypothetical) Trump Administration!

    Q.E.D. All that's missing is a strident wake up, sheeple!

  • The coveted Deez Nuts endorsement goes to…

    Deez Nuts, the 15-year-old Iowa boy whose fake third-party presidential campaign has gone viral, has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the GOP nomination.

    Deez (I call him Deez) endorses Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side. But he's still endorsing himself for the general election in November 2016. (In the event of a Trump/Clinton matchup, I'll probably do the same.)

  • You've probably already seen this, but:

    When voters were asked [in a Quinnipiac University poll] to say the first word that came to mind when they thought of Hillary Clinton, the most popular responses were “liar,” “dishonest,” and “untrustworthy.”

    Complete list is at the link. "Phony", our personal favorite, appears pretty far down (a mere 8 responses), but that's OK. Surprisingly: it was edged out by "murder" (9 responses); apparently some people are still sore about Vince Foster.

  • At some point, you have to ask: is Jeb Bush even an actual person?

    (Apologies for the dreadful narrator and his meandering presentation.)

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Our track record on summer blockbusters: six so far. Seems like fewer! We saw this one at the Regal Cinemas Fox Run, in a theater with "plush seating" recliners, just like at home. If you have those at home.

Anyway, the movie: Tom Cruise is Ethan Hunt, again, with his IMF teammates Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg), and Luther (Ving Rhames). Unfortunately, the current CIA head (one of those Baldwin guys) has developed a strong dislike of the IMF's independent and impudent ways, and he wangles the team's dissolution. For libertarians, this is the most unlikely part of the movie: a government agency that actually gets terminated? Hah!

In addition to this friendly fire, Ethan is also set upon by the ultra-secretive "Syndicate" (aka the "Rogue Nation" in the title). It's led by the creepy Solomon Lane, who's responsible for thousands of innocent deaths worldwide. And there's also the beautiful-but-deadly Ilsa—whose side is she on, anyway?

It's very long, 131 minutes, but it's filled with plenty of imaginative action: plane-dangling; chases with cars, motorcyles, and on foot; opera assassination (Turandot, so it's classy); fights with guns, knives, fists, and tranquilizer darts. And the ritual death-defying break-in to the impregnable fortress to … sorry, I forgot what that was for, actually.

In short, all good (forgettable) fun. No illusions that any of these characters exist outside of their action bubble. (Hunt's wife from a previous movie? Gone, baby, gone.)