Jack Handey’s ‘The Plan’

From The New Yorker:

The plan isn’t foolproof. For it to work, certain things must happen:

—The door to the vault must have accidentally been left open by the cleaning woman.

—The guard must bend over to tie his shoes and somehow he gets all the shoelaces tied together. He can’t get them apart, so he takes out his gun and shoots all his bullets at the knot. But he misses. Then he just lies down on the floor and goes to sleep.

—Most of the customers in the bank must happen to be wearing Nixon masks, so when we come in wearing our Nixon masks it doesn’t alarm anyone.

—There must be an empty parking space right out in front. If it has a meter, there must be time left on it, because our outfits don’t have pockets for change.

—The monkeys must grab the bags of money and not just shriek and go running all over the place, like they did in the practice run.

(via Waxy)

Back to Iraq

Art La Flamme, a Cynical-C reader, fellow Twitterer, blogger and all around jolly good fellow is in the army and headed back to Iraq for the next year. He recently blogged about his experience getting ready to return to Iraq:

I’ll be there for a year, or until they tell me to come home. I should get a two-week-or-so break somewhere along the way.

I’d like to keep blogging here during the year. I am sure there’d be things to write; I know, though, that the Army is a bit cautious about blogs, so I will have to see what wickets I’ll need to jump through in order to blog. Feel free to email me and ask questions; if I can answer them, I will, and if not, I’ll either lie (ok, no, not really) or I’ll just fess up that it’s not appropriate for me to answer, for whatever reason. If I upload photos, or blog here or elsewhere, or bookmark neat things, it’ll all show up in this RSS feed.

I’ve had people ask me different questions about this adventure. The questions generally fall into a couple of categories.

Aren’t you worried about going? No, not really. Things started to sink in Sunday morning, early, that it was almost time for change. I think I get more angst about the change, the picking up and going someplace, than I do about where I’m going or what I’m going to do there. I do a pretty good job of living in the now, and it’s only that slight anticipation that my now will likely change that gets me thinking about it. But no, it’s not worry. I’ll be fine…

What’ll you be doing there? I’m a staff guy. There’s no door kicking for me, no jumping out of a helicopter as it gets ready to set down on the objective. I sit and think deep thoughts, ask questions, give a briefing from time to time, and make an all-out effort to avoid making PowerPoint slides (not just while in Iraq, but in life in general). It’s not a bad deal, and it’s stuff that I’m actually well suited to do. But through all that, I remain ready to all of those basic soldier skills we expect of every soldier; if they need an extra gunner, I go.

Hillary Clinton Wins Duval County FL

For write-in votes that is. Here’s the write-in tally:

234 HILARY CLINTON
174 RON PAUL
23 NONE OF THE ABOVE
23 JESUS
21 MIKE HUCKABEE
14 MITT ROMNEY
8 COLIN POWELL
6 GOD
6 LEFT BLANK
5 UNDECIDED
4 AL GORE
4 BISHOP V.M. MCLAUGHLEN
4 FRED THOMPSON
4 OBAMA
4 RUDY GIULLIANI
4 STEVEN COLBERT
3 DONALD DUCK
3 DONALD FOY
3 MICKEY MOUSE
3 T. BOONE PICKENS
2 BILL COSBY
2 BILL McMILLON
2 BILL NYE
2 CHUCK NORRIS

Chuck Klosterman reviews Chinese Democracy

From the AV Club:

Reviewing Chinese Democracy is not like reviewing music. It’s more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? To a rhinoceros? Does its pre-existing mythology impact its actual value, or must it be examined inside a cultural vacuum, as if this creature is no more (or less) special than the remainder of the animal kingdom? I’ve been thinking about this record for 15 years; during that span, I’ve thought about this record more than I’ve thought about China, and maybe as much as I’ve thought about the principles of democracy. This is a little like when that grizzly bear finally ate Timothy Treadwell: Intellectually, he always knew it was coming. He had to. His very existence was built around that conclusion. But you still can’t psychologically prepare for the bear who eats you alive, particularly if the bear wears cornrows.

The Best Interview You’ll Read Today

Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.com interviews a right wing crank. Hilarity ensues.

I had the chance this afternoon to speak with John Ziegler, a documentary filmmaker and former radio talk show host who built the website HowObamaGotElected.com and is promoting a forthcoming documentary of the same name.

Ziegler was responsible for commissioning a Zogby International survey of Barack Obama supporters, which took the form of a multiple choice political knowledge test, stating a “fact” to the respondent and asking them which of the four major candidates (Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin) the statement applied to. Because I believe that many of the statements on the survey are questionable or false but are misleadingly presented as factual to the respondent, I characterized the survey as a “push poll” in an article posted early this morning.

NS: Why would you commission a survey question with no correct response?
JZ: The purpose of the question, you pinhead, was we wanted to determine the Tina Fey Effect.

NS: Were the interviews conducted by telephone or online?
JZ: How can you ask a question like that and pretend that you have any clue what you’re writing about! That’s unbelievable that someone could write what you did! That is unbelievable that you wouldn’t know that it’s a telephone or an online poll and that you went on my summaries of the questions before the questions were even released!

NS: We’ve heard reports from our readers that very similar questions had been asked in an online format. There was no online component at all?
JZ: That is correct, which you would have known if you had looked at the information. Before you called this a push poll — you don’t seem to know the definition of a push poll. How do you have this website?

NS: Is the complete interview available anywhere — complete results for the interview?
JZ: Yeah if you had done your research it is all online, every question, all the cross-tabs. Man, you’re never going to post this [transcript], are you?