Freaking Out Squares

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

She Blinded Me With (Political) Science

Songwriter and Communist Abel Meeropol once said during a political education class, “I know who the bosses are, I know who the workers are, and I know which side I’m on. Why do I need to know more than that?” My assessment of the PA Senate race is just about as sophisticated. Here’s my position: Do not vote for the guy who equates homosexuality with hot dad-on-daughter action. Simple as that. (Did anyone else out there watch Meet the Press this Sunday besides the guy who called in to Brian Lehrer yesterday claiming that while Rick Santorum was focused and on message, Bob Casey Jr. “just sat there nodding his head”? I can’t seem to get the transcript.)

In keeping with our “Back to School” theme this week, here’s a little political education for you. I’ve included the answers right after each question, just like my 12th grade Government teacher used to do.

Section 1. Who Said It?

1. “What the Christ is wrong with the Jews, Bob?”
a. Bud Dwyer
b. Richard Nixon
c. Carl Bernstein
d. Pat Buchanan

If you guessed (b) Richard Nixon, sing “Hava Nagilah.” Tricky Dick was not only, well, tricky, he was also a Halcion –popping Jew hater. But hey, how ‘bout that thing with China and the pandas?

If you figured out that “Bob” was H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, give yourself an extra gold star (of either the David or the Christian variety).

2. "What a waste it is to lose one's mind--or to not have a mind. How true that is."
a. Ross Perot
b. George W. Bush
c. Dan Quayle
d. Nigel Hawthorne

Although George W. Bush hasn't the brains God gave a leech, and Ross Perot is certifiably something or other, the correct answer is (c) Dan Quayle. Bonus points if you recalled that J. Danforth was speaking about the United Negro College Fund.


Section 2. True or False

3. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted for stealing the secret of the atom bomb and transmitting it to the Russians during WWII.

FALSE. Patently false, actually. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, a crime that is technically punishable by death, although their co-defendant, Morton Sobell, received “only” thirty years in prison, eighteen of which he served.

The only evidence the government had against Ethel was a letter she allegedly typed outlining “atomic secrets.” In 2001, Ethel’s brother David Greenglass revealed on “60 Minutes II” that his wife, Ruth, was the actual typist.

4. Actress Jane Wyman claimed that one of the reasons she divorced Ronald Reagan was she “couldn’t stand to see that damned King’s Row [Reagan’s only critically acclaimed film] one more time.”

TRUE, as far as the story goes. Or she may have just woken up one morning and realized the person sharing her bed was totally icky.

Section 3. Presidential Fun Facts!

5. Name one other president, besides Thomas Jefferson, who had red hair.

Trick one! NO other president was thus coiffed. According to Schott’s Original Miscellany, Andrew Jackson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Calvin Coolidge, and JFK were all “questionable.” JFK’s more of a strawberry blond, don’t you think? And he’s nowhere near as hot as Bobby. Mmm, Bobby, baby.

6. Who was the last president to own slaves?

Well, hell’s bells, it’s none other than Ulysses S. Grant from Ohio, of all people and places! Hey, didn’t he fight for the Union?

All right, kids. Put your pencils down. Your teacher would like to recommend an awesome place for you to pick up beer to drink in your parents’ rec rooms after school. Heliopolis on Broadway at 33rd in Astoria not only has a vast array of brews from Magic Hat, including the awesome “Mother Russia,” which we’ll be covering next month, but it’s also the only place I’ve ever been able to find rose water for your mango lassis, which you shouldn’t mix with beer. ‘S all right? Good. Now go and carpe diem or whatever.

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