Weekend Open Thread: Bougie, Bibi, Putin, and Pi

Cornell University mathematicians celebrate Pi Day in 2012.  SURELY we can clear this bar today!

Cornell University mathematicians celebrate a less dramatic Pi Day in 2012. SURELY we can clear this bar today!

So much is happening this next week that it almost defies description, but let’s work though our headline — which does not even address the Special Election in Senate District 37, where Don-Wag and The Moorlach face off against each other and The Namazing Namazi and Democratic write-in candidate Louise Youbetterknowhowtospell-Herlastnamebynow.  (For the latest in illegal campaign developments, see here.)  With luck, we’ll be able to do this over again in May!  Meanwhile, in other countries:

Israel: The election for which the U.S. Congress sacrificed its own President’s stature and our system’s dignity will also take place on Tuesday.  You know Bibi “Benjamin” Netanyahu, who is credited with popularizing the phrase “it’s all about the Benjamin” — now get to know Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, who has an unexpectedly good chance to replace him.  Bougie is in a coalition with Tsipi Livni, who would serve out the intended last two years of the four year Prime Minister’s term.  (So really it should be “Bougie, Tsipi, Bibi, Putin and Pi” — but that would have ruined the call-out to the nursery rhyme.)

Their coalition is, somewhat controversially, called the Zionist Union — which should not freak you out (which Netanyahu and his further-right challengers should do.)  As I’ve explained here a time or two, this is an attempt to reclaim the term “Zionist,” as American liberals might try to reclaim the term “Patriot,” as not requiring the chauvinistic and bellicose connotations that the Right attaches to both words.  You can buy it, you can not buy it — either way, that’s what they say.  (Just as it would be very hard for someone who denied being a “patriot” to win a national election in the U.S., it would be very hard for someone who denied being a “Zionist” to win one in Israel.)

Even if I weren’t already on the same page as Bougie and his leftward possible future coalition partners such as Meretz, I would still like to see Netanyahu get his tuchis “netan”ed to him just to make House Speaker John Boehner feel even sicker inside that the diet of scotch and cigarettes already accomplishes.  Feel welcome to join me in that hope.

Russia: Putin him out of his misery?  The news is only starting to get through here in the U.S. that something pretty big may be happening in Mother Russia.  President Vladimir Putin has not been seen publicly in coming up on nine days, and that is very unlike him, what with all of the gays to bash and the prominent political opponents to have shot.  (That last is just an allegation, of course.)  Rumors abound: that he’s dead, that he’s dying, that he’s incapacitated; that he’s been ousted in a coup, that an ongoing attempted coup continues to be outgoing, that he’s isolated in office, or planning an even coupier coup on his own.  The problem he faces is not simply the falling value of carbon fuels and the falling fortunes in Crimea, but that apparently the assassination of Boris Nemtsov — among his most powerful, prominent, and persuasive critics — pushed people a little too far along the “Who is Caligula going after next?” path.  We don’t see real transitions in governmental power that often in Russia — Putin’s been there since Drunk Uncle Boris Yeltsin resigned in 1999 — so this week may literally be one for the history books.  If Putin is or gets out of office, Prime Minister and former Putin Puppet President Dmitri Medvedev (who has in recent years been a bit more on the outs) would take over for 90 days, and would be the likeliest best to win election outright.

Chicago:  Wait, Chicago isn’t in a foreign country, so we’ll wait for 1-3 weeks before telling you how good guy Chuy Garcia may actually have a shot at knocking off the most vicious Business Democrat in the land, Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  Getting rid of Netanhayu and Rahm in the space of three weeks might really be too much joy for some of us.

Everywhere: And, both domestically and foreignly, about 12 hours after this piece was supposed to be posted (although we admit that this was about π hours late), is the most pi you’re ever going to see in your lifetime.  Yes, March 14 of every year is “Pi Day,” for our favorite transcendental number (which, unlike some of us, doesn’t go on and on repeating itself forever.) Normally, the best you can do to celebrate the Great Circle Explainer is to clink a glass at 1:59:26 a.m. or p.m., which gets you to eight digits of pi.  (For Europeans, who reverse the day and month in calendar notation, Pi Day would have to be on January 3, with the celebration at 4:15.  And it stops there, until there are more than 90 seconds in a minute.)  But tomorrow is the chance of a lifetime — and it even gives you the chance to sleep in!  Because it is 2015, the calendar date is 3/14/15, so you can go an extra two digits and celebrate at 9:26:53 a.m. (You can do p.m. too, but if you wait you’re really not an orthodox Pi-baby.)  If you want to wait until just under 53.6 seconds, you can — but that’s too orthodox.

Anyway, Happy Pi Day, and enjoy this first Weekend Open Thread of this year’s Daylight Savings Time.  Talk about the above stories or anything else you’d like, within reasonable bounds of decency and discretion.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)