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Late Night Political Humor

“Mitt Romney we think is going run again. He says he has no plans to run, but he said if he did run, this time things would turn out differently. Yes they would. This time he would get his ass kicked by a woman.” – Bill Maher

“It turns out that country singer Larry Gatlin is a global policy genius and he’s writing policy memos to President Obama. I think I’ll wait to hear what Kenny Chesney thinks” – David Letterman

“Sarah Palin’s whole family got into a drunken, public fistfight. Something police are calling a tragic case of trash on trash violence.” – Bill Maher

“Apparently it got very gnarly. The Palins, the whole family, showed up in a stretch hummer at this party and saw a guy who had broken up with Willow, and they all wanted to fight him. Bristol threw punches. Willow wailed on this guy. Todd had a bloody nose. Sarah was screaming, ‘Don’t you know who I am?!’ And Track tore off his shirt and was walking down the street giving everyone the finger. I have only one thing to say about this: ‘ISIS, do you really want to mess with this?'” – Bill Maher

“You know who’s upset now with ISIS? Al Qaeda. It’s because ISIS is getting more attention than Al Qaeda. So now, Saturday night will be Ayman al-Zawahiri bobblehead night.” – David Letterman

“This week President Obama gave a big speech from White House where he outlined his plan to quote ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ the terror group ISIS. When asked how, he said, ‘I’ll build their website.'” – Jimmy Fallon

“In his speech the other night, President Obama announced that he’s counting on the support of an international coalition. Right now, we can’t get the support of the International House of Pancakes.” – David Letterman

“The president went on TV and explained that our new operation against ISIS is not a war. War is what FOX News does to defend Christmas.” – Bill Maher

“Forty-seven percent of Americans feel less safe than before 9/11. But enough about the NRA.” – Bill Maher

“President Obama announced in his speech the other night that he’s sending 475 military advisers to Iraq. Not only that but he’s also sending 475 military advisers to the NFL.” – David Letterman

“Congress is now criticizing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not acting swiftly enough. You know you’re slow if you’re being criticized by Congress for not acting swiftly enough.” – David Letterman

“I always get excited when I come to Washington because I’m that typical tourist; I like to see the sh*t. There’s so many great historical sites: the lobby of The Willard hotel, where we got that name lobbyist, where they used to literally lobby; the tavern where John Adams used to drink; the Capitol where they used to pass laws.” – Bill Maher

“Thirteen years since 9/11, look how far we’ve come. Back then we were scared, over-reacting, about to launch an expensive overseas campaign. But so much has changed. For example, Dick Cheney’s heart is now connected to the iPhone watch.” – Bill Maher

“British Prime Minister David Cameron went to Scotland this week to persuade citizens of the country to vote ‘no’ on leaving the U.K. He said, ‘It’s never worked out for anyone-well except America, and Canada, Australia, India, and … I’ll stop talking now.'” – Jimmy Fallon

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It is getting worse

According to political numbers site 538 the numbers are getting worse. As of this morning, the Republicans now have a 60% probability of winning a majority in the Senate.

Oh well, I guess it just proves once again that you can buy an election in the USA.

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The Pitchforks are Coming!

Like Nick Hanauer, I am an unrepentant capitalist. But capitalism only works if, as he says, it is well managed. And right now, we are doing a worse than terrible job of managing our capitalists and plutocrats. Income inequality is rising at insane rates. The end result, history has shown us again and again, is either a police state or an uprising. We are already seeing early warning signs of both.

I would add one caveat to his talk, however. Hanauer seems to focus on the minimum wage as a solution, but I think the big problem is not just income inequality, but inequality of opportunity. The American dream is that anyone can succeed if they try, and that is what inspires people (like Hanauer) to work hard and take risks. This only works as long as it is true and people believe it. When people believe that the system is stacked against them, then those people who have the will to succeed will increasingly do it outside the system — like with pitchforks.

Setting the minimum wage to something livable, making a good education available to anyone regardless of wealth, ending discrimination, stopping the wholesale buying of elections — these are all requirements.

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How We Go To War

Tom Tomorrow
© Tom Tomorrow

Seven simple steps! And you knew someone was going to bring up Hitler, didn’t you?

We have gotten so good at justifying new wars. I just wish we were as good at ending them.

Also, I can’t seem to get rid of this nagging feeling that we are being suckered into this war.

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Late Night Political Humor

‘During a speech last night, President Obama announced that the U.S. will lead a huge multinational coalition to fight the terror groups in Iraq. Of course, most people just turned it off because they thought it was a rerun.’ – Jimmy Fallon

“The National Organization for Women is calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign. They made their demand in a video that Commissioner Goodell said he will watch in five months.” – Conan O’Brien

“Congress sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday demanding ‘the highest level of transparency’ concerning the league’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. That’s right, Congress sent him a letter. They would have sent a video, but they wanted Goodell to see it.’ – Seth Meyers

“A new condo development in New York is charging a million dollars for parking spots. A million dollars to park your car — wouldn’t it be cheaper to just get a ticket every day for the rest of your life and park wherever you want?” – Jimmy Kimmel

“They’re now selling parking places in New York. You can buy a premium parking place for $1 million. When President Obama heard that, he said, ‘Hey, wait a minute. I’ll give you $2 million if you will take the place I’m in.'” – David Letterman

“Vice President Dick Cheney had a closed door meeting with House Republicans to discuss foreign policy issues. He wanted to sit down with them and have a real heart to… whatever is in there at this point.” – Jimmy Fallon

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In Hot Water

Jon Stewart tells Fox News to “shut up” and adds “fuck you and your false patriotism”:

Is it my imagination, or is Jon Stewart actually getting angry about the media noise machine? If so, I love it. Because if we are indeed watching the decline and fall of America, I don’t want it to end with a whimper.

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Abuse of Power

Wow. Just wow. I knew that Republicans were the party of no, but I didn’t realize that they would argue that it would be an abuse of power to just do your frickin’ job.

So here is the situation. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has resigned. Obama will now nominate someone, who has to be confirmed by the Senate. Only a majority vote is required (no filibusters are allowed), so this should be pretty straightforward.

But wait. What if Republicans gain a majority in the Senate, which polls are projecting that they will do in November? Then the Senate could block approval of any nominee and hold the nomination hostage until their demands are met. Don’t think they would do this? Did you forget that they recently shut down the entire US government because Obama wouldn’t repeal the ACA?

So the GOP is already calling for delays in any confirmation hearings or votes, even though Obama hasn’t even nominated anyone yet.

Republican senator Ted Cruz is leading the charge, declaring in a statement “Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced.”

OMG, he is practically drooling at the prospect of taking over the Senate. He wants the Senate to stop doing anything until then.

I fear that the last two years of the Obama administration are going to see even crazier levels of Republican obstructionism.

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Pundit Blowback

Pundits should be given a big dose of their own 20-20 hindsight medicine:

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

It always amazes me how wrong the pundits are, but for some stupid reason the media keeps putting them on TV to make more stupid prognostications.

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Late Night Political Humor

“Tonight President Obama will make a prime-time speech about how we’re going to deal with violent extremists and their sickening behavior. And when he’s done talking about the NFL, he’ll talk about ISIS.” – Conan O’Brien

“President Obama was on TV tonight. He gave a prime-time address to detail his plan to stop ISIS. And also to give his pick for tomorrow night’s game between the Ravens and the Steelers.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“The president reassured Americans that while we face no immediate threat from ISIS, we’ve got a ton of bombs sitting around so we’re going to use them.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Here is Obama’s 3-part plan. First, we’re going to gather intelligence. Next, we’re going to launch air strikes. And third, his plan is to lose the midterm elections. So he’s got a full plate ahead of him.” – David Letterman

“Guess who we may be partnering with to fight ISIS. None other than Iran. Iran used to be our enemy back, like, last week, but now we may be upgrading our relationship to frenemy.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Earlier tonight President Obama spoke to Americans. Obama is getting tough with ISIS. He’s now going to force them to sell their NBA team.” – David Letterman

“It’s never good news when the president addresses the nation in prime time. He never comes out and says, ‘Great job, everybody. I’m throwing y’all a pizza party.'” – Jimmy Kimmel

“The NFL is, of course, coming under a lot of fire. Today it came out that law enforcement sent a copy of the Ray Rice video to NFL headquarters back in April. Then the NFL commissioner apologized, saying the video got buried in the stack of other illegal things NFL players are doing.” – Conan O’Brien

“A federal investigation has found the Department of Homeland Security is ‘ill-prepared’ for a potential disease pandemic. I’m not sure I agree. They did a great job of wiping out Bieber Fever.” – Seth Meyers

“Joe Biden will be in Baltimore this weekend to celebrate the 200th anniversary of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ Yeah, 200 years — or, roughly how long it takes today’s pop singers to finish the national anthem.” – Jimmy Fallon

“The New York Times had to issue a correction after an article referred to Dick Cheney as president of the United States. The Times apologized to Dick Cheney and changed his title to ‘former president of the United States.'” – Conan O’Brien

“Today The New York Times had to issue a correction after it mistakenly referred to Dick Cheney as a former president. Of course, George W. Bush made that same mistake all the time.” – Seth Meyers

“Yesterday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic primary after a close race against an opponent named Zephyr Teachout. I know what you’re thinking: Is Zypher Teachout a man or a woman? And the answer is … probably.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Yesterday Mike Tyson traveled to Toronto and met with Mayor Rob Ford. It was a meeting between one of the most dangerous heavyweights ever and Mike Tyson.” – Seth Meyers

“Mike Tyson was in Canada yesterday and actually met up with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Of course, it got weird when someone yelled, ‘Loved you in ‘The Hangover!” and they both said, ‘Thanks!'” – Jimmy Fallon

“Mike Tyson and Rob Ford had a meeting. If you’d like to see a transcript of their conversation, just have your cat walk back and forth on your keyboard.” – Seth Meyers

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Jon Stewart Changes the Climate around Climate Change

The Daily show covers the New York Climate Action march, and contrasts it with the idiots on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology:

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Worried?

Are you worried about the Republicans taking over control of the Senate? Apparently you are in the minority. In fact, only 36% of Americans can correctly identify the party that controls both the House and the Senate.

Interestingly, there is virtually no difference between Republicans and Democrats in answering this question correctly.

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Late Night Political Humor

“Prince William and his bride are expecting her second baby. That’s pretty quick for Kate to have a second baby. It’s almost as if producing an heir is her job.” – Craig Ferguson

“The royal couple had to keep Kate’s pregnancy secret from the rest of the royal family. And that’s not easy because Prince Charles is all ears.” – Craig Ferguson

“Apple announced the iPhone 6 today, which they say has a more durable screen that won’t crack or scratch as easily. Or as your kids put it, ‘Challenge accepted!’ Apple promised less cracking. Then Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said, ‘Hey, that’s my campaign slogan.'” – Jimmy Fallon

“Mike Tyson, for reasons unknown, stopped by City Hall to meet with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Mike Tyson and Rob Ford — what could possibly go right?” –Jimmy Kimmel

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Applying Heat

Around 400,000 people gathered in New York City Sunday to demand action on climate change, making it the largest climate march in history.

The march started with a moment of silence, with thousands walking through Times Square with their fists in the air but without making a sound. Tweeters declared that they had never heard it so quiet.

Politicians and celebrities including Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Dennis Kucinich, celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Gane Goodall, joined activists, scientists, and ordinary people who came from states as far away as Oklahoma to march.

There were also hundreds of climate protests in other countries, including Britain (with marchers Peter Gabriel and Emma Thompson), Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Columbia, Afghanistan, and Bulgaria.

The United Nations Climate Summit starts on Tuesday.

However, the march was largely ignored by Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. “Meet the Press” didn’t even mention the march. I guess it is true that the Revolution will not be televised.

I’m thinking that climate change has become the defining issue of our time. If we stop burning fossil fuels for energy, not only will it stop climate change, it will reduce pollution and eliminate our dependence on foreign energy sources that have led to costly and stupid wars. And contrary to misinformation being spread by the oil industry, it will actually help our economy as we develop newer, sustainable energy sources. If we could land people on the moon 50 years ago, surely we can solve our energy problems in innovative ways. Yes, there will be technical and political problems, but I’m confident we can overcome those. Let’s do it.

UPDATE: Media Matters reports that the Sunday news shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and Fox all failed to cover the massive climate march. Meet the Press, Face the Nation, State of the Union, and Fox News Sunday completely ignored the event, while ABC’s This Week briefly mentioned it. WTF is wrong with our media?

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Textbook Case

Texas has a long history of producing school textbooks influenced by hard-right conservatives, but we had hoped those days were over.

Nope.

Of more than 140 people on the textbook panels, only three are actually college-level educators. For example, the chair of the History Department at Southern Methodist University, who is also faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, applied to be on the history panel, but was turned down. Instead the US History panel includes a former car salesman who runs a Christian ministry in his hometown and had been a Republican nominee to the Texas Legislature (and who publicly announced that he does not “believe that there is a separation of church and state in the Constitution.”)

Needless to say, a review of the proposed textbooks found numerous mistakes, conservative bias, and overt religious messages. (Well at least Christian messages. In general, Muslims are portrayed negatively.)

There are also cartoons making fun of affirmative action, and perhaps worst of all, contain numerous inaccurate statements about climate change and climate science. For example, one textbook says that global warming will cause Earth’s temperature to rise for only a few years before temperatures will start to cool and eventually “even out”. The textbook even quotes non-scientist staffers from the Heartland Institute, a Koch-funded libertarian think tank whose climate doctrine has been discredited.

Unfortunately, because Texas is such a large market for textbooks, these problems will also show up in textbooks adopted by other states.

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Internet Trolls are Assholes

Science once again proves what we already knew. A psychological study of self-identified internet trolls shows that they are sadists, narcissists, and psychopaths. Or as Psychology Today put it:

So next time you encounter a troll online, remember a few things. (1) These trolls are some truly messed up people and (2) it is your suffering that brings them pleasure, so the best thing you can do is ignore them.

Amen.

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