Thursday, June 11, 2015

Here's An Alternative To Conventional Sleep-Aid Advertising

Today, The Krait offers her very own cure for insomnia. [For an explanation of Gail Collins' appellation, "The Krait," click here.] All of the candidates — with the exception of Senator Bernie Sanders — offer the same yada yada yada as their brethren (or sisteren). If this is (fair & balanced) alternative medicine, so be it.

[x NY Fishwrap]
A Political Brand Of Sominex
By Gail Collins

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When I have trouble falling asleep, I do lists. Like running through the names of all the presidents, along with several factoids for each one. I was rather proud of this talent until friends sent me a video clip of Ellen DeGeneres interviewing a 5-year-old girl who could do it better.

Then, pathetically, I moved on to vice presidents, becoming the only person on my block who knew the backstory on Schuyler Colfax.

There are all sorts of variations of this game. I once tried to mentally list all the contestants on a season of “The Amazing Race” in order of elimination. But the point here is that this could be a practical use for our ever-growing pantheon of presidential contenders. When you get weary and you can’t sleep, count the candidates instead of sheep.

They’re current events and slumber-inducing, too.

Three seems like a good number of facts at this point in the political calendar. All non-issue-related. You don’t really want to dwell on Rick Perry’s agenda when he might be gone again by Labor Day.

And nothing too psychological, like why Lindsey Graham decided to come snarling out of the gate like a rabid otter. (“Kill terrorists, grow jobs.”) Actually, he’s been working on that persona for some time. During a Senate meeting on gun control, Graham wondered what an assault rifle ban would mean “in an environment where the law and order has broken down, whether it’s a hurricane, national disaster, earthquake, terrorist attack, cyberattack where the power goes down and the dam’s broken and chemicals have been released into the air and law enforcement is really not able to respond and people take advantage of that lawless environment.”

O.K., that’s not going to induce slumber. Let’s start over. Close your eyes...

Rick Perry: Former Texas governor. Only candidate for president currently under indictment. Once shot a coyote while jogging. Has a rap-country campaign song that goes: “Rick Perry supporter/Let’s protect our border.”

Whoops, that was four.

Lindsey Graham: Senator from South Carolina. Besties with Senator John McCain. Once suggested he’d drown himself if Barack Obama took North Carolina, but failed to follow through.

George Pataki: Former New York governor. Middle name is Elmer. Father spent his later years in a home for indigent volunteer firefighters.

Rick Santorum: Former senator from Pennsylvania. Held up a big piece of coal during his official announcement. Really fond of sweater vests.

And those are just the Republican candidates we’ve acquired over the past 10 days! Let’s look at the Democrats:

Lincoln Chafee: Former Republican senator. Former independent governor. Used announcement speech to call on the nation to adopt the metric system.

Martin O’Malley: Former governor of Maryland. Plays in Celtic rock band. Allegedly a model for the mayor in “The Wire.”

Bernie Sanders: Senator from Vermont. Wrote a weird piece on rape fantasies 43 years ago that he recently described as “something Like ‘50 Shades of Grey.’ ” Carries a brass key chain from the Eugene V. Debs campaign.

Hillary Clinton: Once claimed, in a 2008 campaign ad, that she was “raised on pinochle and the American Dream.” Likes to watch home-rehab shows on HGTV. Author of five books, including “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets.”

And now, back to the Republicans. Should we do Scott Walker? No, he’s not an official candidate. Even though it would be interesting to discuss whether “college dropout” is a fair factoid. And Jeb Bush has only announced that he’s going to announce something when he gets back from a trip to Estonia. You have to have some rules about these things or else you’ll have 400 candidates to go through, including your neighbor Fred who just put a sign on his lawn, proclaiming his availability.

Also, I don’t think we have to worry about Donald Trump at this point. Trump has picked a day for a big announcement, but it could well be news that Caitlyn Jenner will be a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Marco Rubio: Senator from Florida. Owns a sword named Chang. First job was building cages for exotic birds.

Ben Carson: Retired neurosurgeon. Played on screen by Cuba Gooding Jr. Called Barack Obama a “psychopath.”

Rand Paul: Senator from Kentucky. Cuts his own hair. Once accused of forcing a classmate to worship “Aqua Buddha.”

Carly Fiorina: Former C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard. Got fired from Hewlett-Packard. Once ran for Senate with an ad that portrayed her Republican opponent as a Demon Sheep.

Mike Huckabee: Former governor of Arkansas. Fried squirrels in a popcorn popper during college. Accepted $130,000 in gifts during his tenure in Little Rock, including a stadium blanket and a chainsaw.

Ted Cruz: Senator from Texas. Born in Canada. Claims he stopped liking rock music after 9/11.

Drowsy yet? If it hasn’t worked by now, try imagining them all jumping over a fence. Ω

[Gail Collins joined the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page. At the beginning of 2007, she took a leave in order to complete America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines. Collins returned to the Times as a columnist in July 2007. Collins has a BA (journalism) from Marquette University and an MA (government) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Gail Collins’s newest book is As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (2012).]

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