Books, Pop Culture and Political Humor from J.D. Rhoades, best-selling author, attorney, and award-winning newspaper columnist.
"Like [Lee] Child, Rhoades dishes out one airtight action scene after another, mixing in just enough character-building moments and holding our interest in a full cast of nicely developed supporting players."-Booklist
When you look at the polling data on November's presidential election, it's easy to be confused (if you're at all intellectually honest) or to find evidence that your chosen candidate is the clear front-runner (if you're not).
For instance, a Bloomberg poll taken between June 15 and June 18 shows President Obama up by a whopping 13 points. The Rasmussen tracking poll for the same period shows Mitt Romney up by 1. The Fox News poll shows a tie. Most others show Obama with a slight lead, often within the margin of error.
Anything that close is subject to change without notice - at which point, supporters of one candidate or the other will commence the usual tiresome premature victory lap.
There is one poll, however, conducted by the National Geographic TV channel, that gives the president a clear and commanding lead on one vital question - 65 percent of those responding to that poll believe that President Obama would do a better job of protecting the country from an alien invasion.
I'm not talking about the aliens from south of the border, the very thought of which turns so many people on the right into miserable, depressed creatures who can't even discuss the subject without devolving into a jeremiad about the Doom of American Civilization as it's buried under wave after wave of the Brown Hordes.
No, I'm talking about real aliens. You know, the little gray goomers with big heads and enormous black eyes
. Or the slimy buglike critters in their bio-suits from "Independence Day."
Or... you get the idea.
The poll, conducted by Kelton Research for the NG channel, was part of a promotion of a new show called "Chasing UFOs." Despite the fact that the respondents overwhelmingly believe in Obama's ability to deal with an attack from the stars, 79 percent of them also believe that the government "has kept information about aliens and UFOs a secret from the public," according to a story in the online political blog The Hill.
And yet, only 36 percent of those same respondents believe UFOs actually exist, 17 percent are sure they don't, and 48 percent of them aren't sure.
As most polls do, this one raises as many questions as it answers. Chief among these questions is, "What in the world has happened to the National Geographic?" I mean, when I was growing up, the National Geographic was the serious, glossy magazine that brought the world to you, often in the form of maps and educational posters torn out and tacked up on your classroom bulletin board.
But now, the TV arm of this educational giant is bringing us stuff like "Chasing UFOs" and commissioning polls to ask people whether they thought The Hulk, Spider Man or Batman would do a better job against aliens. (Silly question. The Hulk, clearly. And 21 percent of those polled agreed with me. So there.)
It also makes you wonder, though: How can 79 percent of people believe the government is keeping the truth about aliens from us, while only 36 percent believe they exist? Do the other 43 percent believe the truth the government is keeping from us is that there are no aliens? But that doesn't make sense either, when you consider that the White House officially announced in December that there was "no evidence" of alien life, or that extraterrestrials have made any contact with humanity.
Maybe what we can take away from this poll is that 100 percent of those responding, like most poll respondents, weren't really thinking very seriously about the questions. Or that they were all idiots.
The NatGeoTV poll also fails to address another burning question, even more pressing than the one about aliens. I'm talking, of course, about the question of which presidential candidate would do the best job of protecting us from the Zombie Apocalypse.
In a world where a naked guy was shot and killed by the cops while trying to eat another man's face, for no reason anyone can determine, it's not an idle question.
If that incident, as some have said, is only the beginning, I'm putting my money on Obama. After all, he's already spent the last few years dealing with the cold-blooded and the brain-dead in Congress. And if that doesn't make up your mind, a good look at Mitt Romney's soulless eyes should do it.
The dude's only a few degrees of body temperature from turning into a Walker himself.