Frank Underwood v. Donald Trump: A War of Words

Like many others, I spent my weekend watching the new season of House of Cards. However, I’m trying to take my time with it and I’m only three episodes into the new season (**no spoilers please!!**). However, after watching the third episode, bells started ringing in my head and I looked into the non-existant camera to break the fourth wall and share my inner monologue.

In the third ep, President Frank Underwood is in the middle of his re-election campaign, and on the day of the primary in his home state of South Carolina, the billboard which usually welcomes visitors into his hometown was taken over by a giant photo showing his father posing with a member of the KKK. And this all happened the day after he gave a rousing speech at a predominantly black church.

Underwood comes forward with the truth – or a version of the truth. He admits the photo is indeed real, but the story he tells explaining it (his dad was basically forced to take the pic to secure a loan to save the family farm) may or may not be the truth.

And of course my mind wandered to politics IRL, where we’re in the middle of our own presidential primaries and it turns out that people are voting for Donald Trump. It feels like we’re in a fictionalized version of America, but instead, we’re living in a real, non-fictional world where the frontrunner for the Republican party in the upcoming presidential election might possibly have ties with the KKK. You’ve probably heard by now, but in a nutshell, David Duke, former leader of the KKK, warned Americans that “voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage.” During an interview with CNN, Trump was asked whether he would condemn Duke and all white supremacists who plan on voting for him, to which Trump sideswiped the question and insisted he “doesn’t know anything about David Duke.” Apparently he forgot about all the time he did know something about David Duke. Since then, Trump has covered his tracks by insisting he “disavows” Duke, but hasn’t really elaborated on it.

The other interesting tie-in to HoC is that Trump’s father, Fred Trump (you know, the one who loaned The Donald a “small, $1 million loan“), also has a history with the KKK. In 1927, he was arrested after a klan riot in Queens, where 1,000 Klansmen & sympathizers of the Italian fascist movement marched through the borough, eventually sparking a fight with anti-fascists in the neighborhood. Two men were killed and seven were arrested, one of those seven men was Fred Trump. It’s not clear what Fred was doing there, what side he was on (if any) or if he was just an innocent bystander. One report suggests Fred was arrested “on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so.” So was Donald’s father a KKK sympathizer, and/or Italian fascist sympathizer? We don’t know for sure. Here’s a couple of things we do know: A) Fred and his Trump organization were hit with a civil rights suit by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in 1973, accusing Fred and his org of refusing to rent to black people. B) Donald recently retweeted a Mussolini on Twitter – after Gawker secretly set him up.

In an interview with Meet the Press, Donald admitted he wasn’t aware the quote he retweeted was by Mussolini, and frankly didn’t care that it was said by the world’s most popular fascist (despite critics pointing out that Donald’s politics and oratory are v. similar).

“It’s a very good quote. I didn’t know who said it, but what difference does it make if it was Mussolini or somebody else – it’s a very good quote.” When asked if he wanted to be associated with Mussolini, he said, “No. I want to be associated with interesting quotes. Hey, it got your attention, didn’t it?”

So let’s try this out. I’ve got compiled a bunch of “interesting quotes” and let’s see whether you can tell the difference between a fictional, depraved politician who lit’rally killed both humans and an animal on his way to become president or if the quote is attributed to the real businessman-turned-politician who is entertaining his way to the top (highlight the text between the two arrows for the answer. If you’re on mobile, highlight the text and press ‘speak’ for a real good time).

“Democracy is so overrated.”

Frank Underwood

“Part of being a winner is knowing when to walk away.”

⇒    Donald Trump    

“Good people don’t go into government.”

⇒    Donald Trump     

“I’ll tell you this though. When they bury me, it won’t be in my backyard. And when they pay their respects, they’ll have to wait in line.”

Frank Underwood 

 

“I play to people’s fantasies… That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts.”

⇒  Donald Trump   

“It’s always good to do things nice and complicated so that nobody can figure it out.”

⇒  Donald Trump   

“I will not be a placeholder president. I will win and I will leave a legacy.”

Frank Underwood 

“I’d push him down the stairs and light his broken body on fire just to watch it burn if it wouldn’t start a world war.”

Frank Underwood 

“The point is, you can never be too greedy.”

⇒  Donald Trump   

“My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.”

⇒  Donald Trump   

“Nobody’s a boy scout. Not even boy scouts.”

Frank Underwood 

“The more economic difficulties increase, the more immigrations will be seen as a burden.”

⇒  Trick question this was said by Hitler  

 

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We Need To Talk Trudeau

This week, our neighbours to the north welcomed a new era of government, when Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party was sworn in as prime minister of Canada. And although his election marked the end of nearly a decade of conservatives ruling the country, it also marked a huge generational shift, as JT, at 43 years old, is the second youngest prime minister in Canada’s history.

One of the major results of this is that for the first time ever, the cabinet is comprised of an equal number of men and women. With 15 men and 15 women, the ministers, mostly under the age of 50, represent a huge range of people, including two aboriginal members, three Sikh politicians, two atheists, a blind woman, a paralympic in a wheelchair… couldn’t make this up if I tried. This is great news for Canadians since there’s actually some semblance of what the population of the country looks like representing them in the government.

So when JT was asked why it was so important to him to have a cabinet that is gender balanced, it seemed like a no-brainer answer:

Basically every Canadian and the rest of the world once his answer/this GIF went viral:

My knowledge of JT’s existence only goes back to October when he was officially elected Prime Minister and I saw a pic of him legit clapped (outloud, to no one) to congratulate Canada as a whole. After his Drop The Mic moment on Wednesday’s swearing in ceremony, I needed to know more about him, and you do too. My fellow Americans (and rando other international friends), here is a primer to Prime Minister Trudeau.

Following in His Father’s Footsteps

JT was born when his father, Pierre Trudeau, was serving as the 15th Prime Minister of Canada as part of the Liberal Party. Considered one of the greatest PMs of the country, Pierre was praised not only for his policies and effective reform throughout his 15 years in office, but for his charm and good looks. When he first was elected in 1968, Pierre helped reinvigorate the Liberal Party and Canadian government in general thanks to his youthfulness and breath of fresh air quality he brought to politics, and the term “Trudeaumania” even became a thing.

JT started getting involved in politics in the 2000s shortly after his father died, and of course he drew comparisons to his father, sparking Trudeaumania 2.0. The younger Trudeau holds similar political views and a similar spirit – see Exhibit A: Pierre doing pirouettes behind the Queen’s back at Buckingham Palace during a G7 Summit:

Exhibit B: Justin Trudeau dancing with his wife, Sophie, after being elected the new leader of the Liberal Party. A GIF that was posted on TWITTER that he described as GETTING THEIR GROOVE ON.

Justin is also the first child of a PM to become the head of government in Canada. Think of him as the George W. as opposed to the Jeb!.

I Believe The Children Are Our Future

Growing up, Justin actually shied away from politics, and graduated with two degrees – one in literature and the other in education. He attended McGill University then the University of British Columbia, where he earned a degree in education. He became a teacher, educating Canada’s youth in French and math. I’m betting he was that teacher the girls secretly drew doodles about in their notebooks.

Beat This Acting, Reagan

It’s no Bedtime for Bonzo, but in 2007, JT starred in a two-part miniseries called The Great War, which detailed Canada’s participation in World War I. JT played Talbot Mercer Papineau, a Major who was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Also, he was a puppy lover.

Mama Said Knock You Out

In 2012, JT showed off his athletic skills (and I guess his upper body as well) in a charity boxing match. He had difficulty finding an opponent until Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau – that dude on the right – stepped up to the challenge. JT won in the third round and it was considered a major upset. Guess intimidation didn’t work on Justin.

Just Like A Tattoo, I’ll Always Have You

Speaking of shirts off, JT is believed to be the only global leader in modern times to have a tattoo. And his is obviously not a small white ink infinity sign on his pinky finger. No, JT has a huge tatt on his upper left arm, featuring the Earth inside a raven from the Haida tribe, the indigenous ethnic group the Trudeau family are honorary members of.

QT First Family

JT is married to Canadian TV host Sophie Gregoire, and together they have three kids,  Xavier James, 8, Ella-Grace Margaret, 6,  and Hadrien, 1. Why is the entire Trudeau family in their backyard swimming pool, you ask? Who knows? Who Cares! They’re adorable!

Prime Minister Goals

*fist bump*

 

Playlist of the Month: Songs for Politicians

Generally, November is a big month for politics, with Election Day and all. But this year our November was filled with the stuff late night talk show hosts dream of. From Chris Christie to cracktown’s Mayor Rob Ford, there was no shortage of politicians to take aim at. Keeping up with the spirit of democracy, here is a list of songs we think would fit American politicians – whether they be disgraced or not.

Click here for the whole playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

Barack Obama – Can’t Get Enough of Your Love by Barry White

I feel like the President gets all kinds of Barry White on Michelle behind White House doors, and I realize this may seem awkward and weird, but let’s be honest, we’ve all thought about it. So I’m just putting it out there. Just picture him mouthing the words along with B White in the beginning…

Larry Craig – I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges

We talked about this Idaho Senator last week and we’re going to keep on talking about him, even though it’s been six years since he was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and soliciting an undercover cop for sex. Again, I’m not saying he’s gay… but… I will say that there’s a reason I picked this *disco* song that may or may not be a staple at various clubs where people of the same sex hookup… Definitely not saying that.

Joe Biden – All Eyez on Me by 2Pac

Our Vice President gets a lot of flack, but there’s a reason why Leslie Knope has such a huge infatuation with him – he’s got swag. Lots of it.

Eliot Spitzer – Still Not a Player by Big Pun

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer reportedly had at least seven sexy meetups with prostitutes from a hooker agency (it actually has a name) over the period of six months, paying more than $15,000 for their services. And that was just during the time he was under surveillence. He allegedly had been doing it for years, splurging up to $80,000 for prostitutes, first as attorney general and later as the governor. 

He resigned from his post in 2008, only to be followed by everyone’s favorite legally blind politician, David Paterson.

Wendy Davis – Who Run the World (Girls)

If I have to explain this to you, you should probably just leave this blog right now. Or if you’re from somewhere outside the U.S. and don’t keep up with American politics, just know this woman is a fierce politician who must have legs of steel.

Molly’s Picks

Rob Ford – Sorry by Nerf Herder

As Ford becomes a walking Chris Farley character, his mistakes get bigger and weirder. Running through city hall drunk? Using coke in a “drunken stupor?” Knocking over a city councilwoman like an excited Great Dane? It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Ford doing everything in this song – then issuing one of his daily apologies. What can I do? It’s over it’s over it’s over it’s over.

Bill Clinton – Rico Suave by Gerardo Mejia

Listen, you don’t earn a nickname like Slicky Willy without being really, almost cartoonishly smooth – just like Rico Suave. Clinton’s not a big ol’ cad like the guy in this song, but some of the lyrics work pretty well for a suave, swoon-worthy politician (What? I know it’s not just me.) Seguro que han oido que yo soy educado…

Mitt Romney – Rockin’ The Suburbs by Ben Folds

Mitt Romney is squeaky-clean in that well-off suburban Mormon way. He wasn’t pictured grabbing a beer with constituents on the campaign trail, but he sure did enjoy a good ice cream cone. When he lost in 2012, SNL showed him drowning his sorrows in milk. I think a lot of Romney’s supporters were clean-living suburbanites, too. But of course, a politician has to show that he understands the problems of the common man. Or, as Ben Folds wrote “y’all don’t know what it’s like being male, middle class and white.” You keep on rocking those suburbs, Mr. Romney.

Al Gore – Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows feat. Vanessa Carlton

Gore’s points about environmentalism and global warming are well-taken. It’s just that his delivery – both with his environmental politics and his presidential run – is not very compelling. So, he’s pretty much the human version of a mild-mannered 2000s cover of a mild-mannered 1960s Save the Earth song.

Sarah Palin – Stupid Girls by Pink

In 2012, CNN played this song to introduce a Sarah Palin segment and a minor kerfuffle ensued. However, it does kind of … work. Pink wasn’t singing about people with low IQs, she was talking about  ladies who put on a dumb persona because they think people will like them more. I think Palin did the same thing — I doubt she’s an actual dummy judging by her credentials, but I think she thinks the stupid act is endearing. Dumb isn’t cute.