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Jack Bauer Does Not Heart Huckabee

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Reading today's coverage of the Republican straw poll at the Iowa State Fair yesterday, we were struck by the utter ridiculousness of the system: Voters have to pay to vote, campaigns often pick up the tab for their supporters, Mitt Romney spent the most money, and the winner was — would you believe? — Mitt Romney. We were also struck by Mike Huckabee, the formerly fat former Arkansas governor who somehow impressed the political commentariat by coming in a distant second to Romney, with a whopping 2,587 votes. Thing is, we realized, Mike Huckabee can never become president. He's clearly 24's traitorous, murderous (and perhaps murdered) President Charles Logan. And that dude's First Lady is crazy. For a Joke-Telling Candidate, a Second-Place Finish [NYT]

Our Hit List: Ten Fictional Characters Who Must Die

Last month, fans argued about whether Tony Soprano was killed at the end of The Sopranos. This month, fans are eagerly flipping to the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to see whether Harry snuffs it. In honor of those two cliffhangers, Vulture presents its list of ten fictional characters we definitely want to see die.

Scalia Digs Torture

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is, not surprisingly, a fan of Jack Bauer's 24 torture techniques. Mark Green is set to join Al D'Amato and Ed Koch on NY1's Inside City Hall program. Jeanine Pirro is set to star in a Judge Judy–esque show. Ellen Barkin and Ralph Fiennes have been canoodling. Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury gave $300 to a homeless man. The Olsen twins trekked to Atlantic City for a Bob Dylan concert. The late Kurt Vonnegut has a role in an upcoming DVD. A gay former CBS News producer filed a $10 million discrimination suit against his former employer because he felt the network didn't want his gay-bashing in St. Maarten to be publicized. Aussie golfer Greg Norman and his ex-wife-to-be have finally come to (undisclosed) terms on how to split up his $500 million fortune. Patti LaBelle didn't need a mike to wow a Carnegie Hall audience.

Oh, the Absurdity!

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Last night's double-length 24 meant twice the time to finally wind up this season's plotlines — or twice the chance for ridiculousness. Would they take the responsible route and finally let us know whether Palmer is alive or dead? Whether Logan is alive or dead? Whether Audrey will ever say anything other than "Help me, Jack, please don't let them do this to me"? How the Russian president turned in like three hours from best buds with crazy Mrs. Logan to the guy ready to start World War III? Alas, the answers there are nope, nope, nope, and nyet. Instead, dirty old Veep Daniels absurdly led the country further down his reckless path of destruction. Over at Vulture, Ben Wasserstein runs the finale through the Absurd-o-Meter. The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: So Long, Jack Bauer. Until We Meet Again. [Vulture]

Rupert Goes Green — Except for That Whole Using-Tons-of-Paper Thing

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Maybe John Kerry's right, and environmentalism truly isn't a partisan issue anymore. How else to explain the latest passenger on the bandwagon, Rupert Murdoch, who has just promised to take his News Corporation carbon-neutral within four years? An ultracheery news item — in the Post, of course — breaks down the massive undertaking into smaller initiatives. For instance, the 20th Century Fox lot will switch to solar-powered golf carts. The 24 crew will use biodiesel-powered generators for outdoor scenes. (That must well complement the show's commitment to recycling: How many times has Jack gone rogue? CTU been invaded? Vice-president conspired?) Apparently this should go a long way toward negating the 641,150 tons of carbon News Corp. belched out in 2006 alone. But environmentally friendly explosions aside, we can't help but notice one little problem.

The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter Really Needs to Freshen Up

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Oh, 24, how hard you make it to love thee. In this week's installment of an increasingly horribly ridiculous season, we learn that vice-presidential aide and paramour Lisa Miller is entirely incapable of excusing herself to go to the bathroom, that CTU L.A. is shockingly easy to break into, and that Jack Bauer's mishpocheh have spent hours hanging around easily invadable CTU for no discernible reason. (All the better to capture you from, my dears?) Come on, Absurd-o- Meter, spell it out for us. The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: Easier to Get Into Than Lisa Miller's Pants [Vulture]

The ‘24’ Absurd-O-Meter: Bonus Michelle Dessler Edition

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We ran into Reiko Aylesworth, who used to play CTU agent Michelle Dessler on 24, at a party for the new Philip Seymour Hoffman play, Jack Goes Boating, recently. And so we realized we had a perfect opportunity to get some expert insight on our 24 Absurd-o-Meter, which she confessed she hadn't seen. Did you ever read a script and just blurt out, "What the hell?!" Oh, we would do that, probably every other day. There's a lot of stuff that gets to us, and we say, "Oh, come on." And it actually doesn't even air. There were things that they wanted to do with my character … Like what? Oh, like, suicide. Within the course of 24 hours, I become suicidal.