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Late Night Political Humor

“George W. Bush will open an art exhibit at his presidential library that will feature portraits he painted of various world leaders. He was going to include a painting of bin Laden, but he couldn’t find it.” – Jimmy Fallon

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan just released his budget proposal for 2015. Of course, a lot of people are criticizing it. For example, during a speech yesterday President Obama referred to the budget as a ‘stinkburger’ and a ‘meanwich.’ Ryan called Obama immature, while Chris Christie called to see if he had any more of those stinkburgers or meanwiches.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Chris Christie, what a guy. He allegedly closes down the George Washington Bridge. Everybody goes crazy. And he says, ‘I’ll handle this. I’m going to investigate myself.’ So he investigates himself. He finds out that he, in fact, is innocent. He came up with a classic defense, ‘If the pants don’t fit, you must acquit.’” – David Letterman

“Our good pal, Rob Ford, is at it again. Yesterday he was the only member of Toronto’s city council to vote ‘no’ on a measure to congratulate Canada’s Winter Olympians. He said, ‘If someone’s gonna be rewarded for not falling on their face, it should be me.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“Ford also voted against naming a street after Nelson Mandela. But he claims that he simply hit the wrong button. Then people who voted for Rob Ford were like, ‘Been there’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Evil Russian president Vladimir Putin and his wife have divorced. They say it was amicable. It must be because she’s still alive.” – David Letterman

“The Kremlin announced yesterday that Vladimir Putin and his wife have officially divorced. Over their 30-year marriage, the couple shared two daughters, several homes and one laugh.” – Seth Meyers

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Taking the Piss out of Elections?

The Miami-Dade County elections department received an inquiry earlier this year about whether the bathrooms in their polling places were accessible to disabled voters.

Their response? They are closing all restrooms at polling places “to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly.”

That’s an interesting way to ensure fairness. Screw everyone!

So that means that if you are stuck in a line waiting to vote, you won’t be able to go to the bathroom. And remember that in the last presidential election, people waited as long as six hours to vote. Not to mention that people with a disability like diabetes, which makes you need to urinate more frequently, are going to have a real problem.

Then there are the elderly, who make up a large percentage of the Florida population. Luckily, not all counties in Florida are doing something this stupid.

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Late Night Political Humor

“The Kremlin announced today that Vladimir Putin and his wife have officially divorced. She’ll get the house and the car and he’ll get Crimea, Ukraine, Belarus…” – Seth Meyers

“Vladimir Putin’s divorce became final today. So ladies, he’s officially single. Run!” – Seth Meyers

“A new poll has found that 75 percent of Americans believe marijuana legalization is inevitable. The same 75 percent also said inevitable is a funny word because you never hear ‘evitable’. What does evitable mean?” – Seth Meyers

“That’s right, 75 percent of Americans think marijuana eventually will be legal, while the other 25 percent said, ‘What, it’s illegal?’” – Seth Meyers

“Toronto’s city council voted on whether to name a street after Nelson Mandela and whether to congratulate Canada’s Olympic athletes. Both votes passed 40-1. Can you guess who that one vote against was? Rob Ford. He now says he got the buttons confused. Come on, Toronto, how could you not re-elect this guy? He’s the best. And it’s Wednesday. This is the first mistake he’s made all week.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“President Clinton is here tonight to remind us about how happy we used to be.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“In mere minutes, President Clinton will be sitting in the same spot once occupied by both Honey Boo Boo and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. That chair is going to be so confused.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“The White House finally met their enrollment goal for Obamacare. President Obama held a press conference and said this means that Obamacare is ‘here to stay’. He added, ‘because if you think getting INTO the program was hard, just try getting OUT.’” – Jimmy Fallon

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Colbert Unplugged

CBS has announced that Stephen Colbert will be replacing David Letterman on the Late Show.

What makes this interesting is that Colbert will drop his faux-conservative persona and will be himself. Or as Colbert put it “I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me. I’m looking forward to it.”

UPDATE: Good article about the switch.

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Late Night Political Humor

“The White House says it’s surpassed its goal for people enrolled in Obamacare. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you make something mandatory and fine people if they don’t do it, and keep extending the deadline for months.” – Jimmy Fallon

“The Secret Service arrested a man today after he tried to scale a fence at the White House. They reportedly said to the man, ‘Sorry, but you still have two more years, Mr. President.’” – Seth Meyers

“Connecticut beat Michigan State, the team that President Obama had picked to win the whole tournament. It completely busted his bracket. Which explains why today Connecticut got a fruit basket from Vladimir Putin.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Officials in Finland say the Russian army is now conducting drills on its border. Or as Vladimir Putin calls that, ‘window shopping’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“The official presidential candidate for the Ukrainian Internet Party is a man in a Darth Vader costume. Not to be confused with the president of Russia, who is Darth Vader in a man costume.” – Seth Meyers

“U.N. experts are saying that climate change could start threatening the world’s supply of fruits and vegetables. Then Americans said, ‘OK, let us know when it starts affecting Twinkies and Hot Pockets.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“The Department of Agriculture is encouraging grandparents to read their grandchildren bedtime stories about nutrition. Stories like ‘Goodnight Kale’, ‘James and the Giant Organic Peach’, and ‘The Little Engine That Could, Thanks to His High-Fiber Diet’.” – Seth Meyers

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Values

Congressman Vance McAllister (R-LA) was elected to office last November after running as a “values Republican”, touting his Christian faith and his family. He gained some notoriety when he brought one of the stars of the TV show Duck Dynasty to Obama’s State of the Union speech.

So it should be no surprise to long-time readers of this blog that recently a copy of a security video from his district office was leaked, showing the married Congressman passionately kissing a member of his staff (also married).

The best part is that he has now asked the FBI to help figure out who leaked the video to the media, saying “a breach in security in a federal office is a grave concern for us”.

Oh, and while the Congressman has vowed to stay in office, the staffer he was caught kissing has lost her job.

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Late Night Political Humor

“President Obama visited with Pope Francis today, and during the meeting the president gave Pope Francis some seeds used in the White House garden. Then he said, ‘Don’t plant these where anyone can see them. They’re straight from Denver. ‘” – Jimmy Fallon

“It’s traditional for world leaders to exchange gifts when they meet for the first time. The Pope gave Obama his book and two medallions. The president gave him seeds from the vegetable garden. The Pope said, ‘Great, my favorite.’” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Pope Francis and President Obama met for the first time today and prayed together. Said Obama: ‘Lord, please help me accept the things I cannot change, which is everything.’” – Seth Meyers

“President Obama was at the Vatican today. He had his first meeting with Pope Francis. It was a casual meeting. They spoke privately for about an hour and grabbed lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Today the U.N. approved a resolution calling Russia’s annexation of Crimea illegal. For those of you who don’t know what a U.N. resolution is, it’s about as powerful as a negative Yelp review.” – Seth Meyers

“Mayor Rob Ford is running for re-election in Toronto, and last night’s first debate was about public transportation. Ford said it’s important to preserve the city’s bus and subway stations. Then he said, ‘I rely on those things. I’m way too drunk to drive myself.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“After discovering a new dwarf planet orbiting the sun beyond Pluto, scientists have named it ’2012 VP113′ or ‘Biden’ for short. Scientists say they chose the name because the planet, like Biden, is pretty far out there.” – Seth Meyers

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Late Night Political Humor

“Intelligence officials say they had a hard time predicting Russia’s invasion because Vladimir Putin doesn’t own a cellphone or use the Internet due to fear of being tracked. You can tell Putin doesn’t spend much time online. When he says ‘LOL’, he means ‘Look out, Latvia’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“That’s right, Putin doesn’t have a cellphone. And just like everyone else without a cellphone, he won’t stop bragging about it.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Vladimir Putin was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and two weeks later he invaded Crimea. So here’s what the United States did. They tossed him out of the G-8 meetings. Really? I mean, that’s like being told you can’t go to the Daytime Emmys.” – David Letterman

“It’s not every night that we get a great audience. Last night, we had an ugly crowd. Halfway through the show, they voted to join Russia.” – David Letterman

“Ukraine said it has finished withdrawing the last of its troops from Crimea, so the split is now final. Well, they’re not calling it a split. They’re calling it a ‘conscious uncoupling’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Today Pope Francis had to fire a German bishop known as the ‘Bling Bishop’ after he spent over $43 million to renovate his house. Pope Francis was nice enough to describe it as a ‘conscious unbishopping’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“In a speech, Pope Francis criticized the Mafia and urged its members to repent. Which is why now every morning the Pope makes his assistant start the Popemobile.” – Conan O’Brien

“President Obama went to the G-8 meetings. He’s filling in for Dennis Rodman.” – David Letterman

“One of President Obama’s secret service agents is in trouble now after getting drunk and passing out in a hotel hallway. In his defense, it’s spring break! He was wearing a helmet with a beer on either side. That was a bad idea.” – Conan O’Brien

“A group of Secret Service agents went to Amsterdam ahead of President Obama’s visit, but three of them were sent home after they stayed out all night drinking and one of them passed out in the hotel’s hallway. I always thought Secret Service agents wore sunglasses to look intimidating. Turns out they’re just hung over.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“The first lady is in China. During her trip, Michelle Obama fed panda bears. Like most people the first lady feeds, the bears politely ate the bamboo and then had a cheeseburger the minute she left.” – Conan O’Brien

“Americans have been given another month to sign up for Obamacare as long as they check a box on the website saying they tried to sign up before the original deadline. It’s expected to be answered as truthfully as boxes that say ‘Yes, I am 18′.” – Seth Meyers

“First lady Michelle Obama is in China right now. Today she was busy doing some official business. She placed a wreath on the grave of General Tso, the creator of spicy chicken.” – David Letterman

“In an interview, former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said he does not have a racist bone in his body. However, he admitted he has three sexist bones and his spine is homophobic. ” – Conan O’Brien

“Toronto held the first mayoral debate of 2014 tonight. Rob Ford faced four challengers. When Rob Ford ran for mayor in 2010, his slogan was ‘Stop the gravy train’. Then he realized he loves gravy. And you need a train to get it there.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“This is the difference between our countries. None of the other candidates specifically mentioned drugs. They let Mayor Ford say over and over again that he’s the only candidate with a proven track record. He’s also the only candidate with a proven crack record.” – Jimmy Kimmel

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What in the Name of Science?

Tom Tomorrow
© Tom Tomorrow

Here are the latest updates on the North Carolina sea level change controversy and Republican attempts to de-prioritize government climate change research.

It would almost be funny if it weren’t all true. Do they really believe they can just legislate away scientific reality? If so, we are in a heap of trouble.

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Late Night Political Humor

“President Obama has convinced the leaders of the world’s biggest economies to move the G-8 summit out of Russia this summer and meet in Brussels instead. Then Vladimir Putin said, ‘All good. By summer, Brussels will be part of Russia.’” – Jimmy Fallon

“They’ve kicked Vladimir Putin out of the G-8, the most powerful economic organization. So now he won’t be getting his G-8 jacket. He won’t be getting the G-8 mug. And he’s not going to get the G-8 tote bag.” – David Letterman

“Tomorrow morning, Russia will fly an American astronaut to the International Space Station. And you thought driving someone home after a breakup was awkward.” – Seth Meyers

“Ukraine said it plans to take Russia to court to try to get Crimea back. So get ready next week for a very special ‘Judge Judy’.” – Conan O’Brien

“Ukraine is in a lot of trouble, and I was thinking about this. The only guy who can turn things around for Ukraine — Phil Jackson.” – David Letterman

“Michelle Obama is in China. I wonder if while she’s over there she could get them to do something about those leaky cardboard takeout containers.” – David Letterman

“There are reports coming out that Chris Christie has lost 100 pounds since having lap-band surgery. It’s a pretty big loss – you know, for my monologue.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Pope Francis called out the Mafia. He said, ‘You Mafia guys are all going to hell.’ It got me to thinking, who else is going to hell? What about those guys who honk the second the light turns green?” – David Letterman

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Sporadic Posts

Postings may be a bit slower for the next few weeks, but I’ll try to post as often as possible. Get out there and enjoy spring!

Oh, and sometime next week this blog will move to a faster server. Hopefully there won’t be many bumps or hiccups.

UPDATE: New server! System response seems to be faster.

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Health Education

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

What is going to happen as people realize that all the lies they have been fed about Obamacare aren’t true?

Indeed, the only complaints about the ACA that are actually true is that a single payer system would have been far simpler, easier to implement, and cost less. But of course the health insurance companies wouldn’t have allowed that! After all, they killed single payer back when the Clintons proposed it.

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Late Night Political Humor

“Let’s talk about March Madness. It starts out with 68. Then it goes to 32. And then it drops to 16. You know what it’s like? It’s like President Obama’s approval rating.” – David Letterman

“In March Madness, when No. 3 Syracuse was eliminated, I heard people say the Orange had been eliminated. They said the Orange and the first thing I thought was something happened to Speaker of the House John Boehner.” – David Letterman

“Over the weekend Vladimir Putin ordered fireworks to go off in Moscow to celebrate Crimea joining Russia – and also the fact that he had Stanford beating Kansas in his March Madness pool.” – Jimmy Fallon

“That’s right, Putin ordered fireworks to go off in Moscow. Either that or one of Putin’s rivals tried to start his car.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Today President Obama was in the Netherlands for a nuclear summit with 50 other world leaders. Putin didn’t even attend. He sent his foreign minister in his place. He said he doesn’t want to visit any country he can’t keep.” – Jimmy Fallon

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’ ride. But they’re making some changes to it. They’re making the Russian section much, much larger.” – Jimmy Fallon

“President Obama now is meeting with the G-7 leaders. Can you name all of the G-7? I try but I always forget Bashful.” – David Letterman

“When Obama meets with the G-7 leaders it must be fun for him to put faces to the voices he hears on the wiretaps.” – David Letterman

“While in China, first lady Michelle Obama commented on Chinese censorship. Or as the Chinese news reported it, Michelle Obama greatly admires Chinese censorship.” – Conan O’Brien

“On Sunday Mitt Romney suggested that he had a power to ‘see the future,’ and could have stopped Russia from invading Crimea if he had been elected in 2012. Though if he could really see the future, he wouldn’t have run for president in 2012.” – Seth Meyers

“In an interview with ‘Meet the Press,’ former President Jimmy Carter said he won’t send emails because he believes the NSA is reading them. And also because he can’t find the ‘send’ button on his typewriter.” – Seth Meyers

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Intolerance

I’ve been watching the kerfuffel about Mozilla (the nonprofit that produces the Firefox browser among other things) and its new CEO with quite a bit of interest. Personal interest, because to me Brendan Eich is better known as the creator of the JavaScript language, which I use to earn my living. And political interest, because it brings up an interesting irony about tolerance, namely is it ok to be intolerant of someone who is intolerant?

The facts are that in 2008 Eich contributed $1000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage (SSM) in California. This contribution became public knowledge in 2012. At the time, Eich was the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) for Mozilla, an organization which he co-founded. A couple of week ago, Eich was promoted to CEO, and that’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan. Many people both inside and outside Mozilla were upset about Eich’s beliefs against same sex marriage, and believed that they made him unfit to be the CEO of a community based organization like Mozilla. One website urged a boycott. Ten days later, Eich resigned.

It is worth noting that Proposition 8 passed in California (although it was later overturned by the state supreme court). That means that in at least some sense Eich’s opinions were not out of the mainstream at the time. Public opinion about SSM has changed dramatically in the last few years.

And Eich himself promised to continue Mozilla’s policy of inclusiveness, including for gay rights, and to separate his personal beliefs from his professional life. According to people who worked with him, he has kept that promise and never let his personal beliefs influence his work or how he treated others.

In a legal sense, this played out as it should have. Of course Eich has a right to his personal opinions. And of course Mozilla has a right to get rid of their CEO for any reason, including if public outcry will hurt the organization.

I have been a CEO in my life, so I understand that a CEO represents a company in a way that the CTO doesn’t. Even so, should Eich be punished for an action he took back when it was mainstream, but which no longer is?

I can see both sides of this issue, so why does this bother me so much? I think Andrew Sullivan (who is a gay conservative columnist) hit the nail on the head:

The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out.

I have watched with amazement and awe as the fight for gay rights has been won in a stunningly short amount of time. It really was just back in 2008 when California passed Prop 8. I live in Oregon, and it too passed a constitutional amendment banning SSM. Opposition to gays was one of the strongest red meat causes of the religious right. And now, just a few years later, those laws are being overturned and few people question gay rights.

In my opinion, this fight was won because it was not a fight. Gays did not win because they banded together and fought straight people. They won by being normal and non-threatening. They won because TV shows and movies started showing gays as real people who were not so different from everyone else, and who shared the same dreams and aspirations. They also won because we all started recognizing that the many contributions by gays made the world a better place. Gay people were not scary or evil. They were normal. Rather than a threat to the family, they were an asset.

In the past I have written posts where I did not support SSM. Not because I didn’t believe that gays should marry, but because I thought that marriage should not be the domain of government. Instead, I wanted everyone (gay or straight) to have a right to a civil union, and leave marriage to the church. Any church that wanted to could perform marriages for gays, but all the legal rights would be stripped from marriage and transferred to civil unions. We are supposed to keep church and state separate, right? As they like to say, my opinion has evolved. Should those old posts be used against me now?

Maybe Eich’s opinion hasn’t evolved the same way as mine, but I’m still afraid that hounding him out of his job because he is was (and may still be) a heretic is a terrible strategy for the gay rights movement. As one commenter on Sullivan’s site put it:

I don’t spend my money at Chik-fil-A because I don’t like the idea of it being funneled into an anti-equality organizations. I don’t buy Barilla because their CEO explained that they don’t make their products for me, which I assume means they don’t need my money. I don’t watch Duck Dynasty because – well, I never did. But this is a horse of different color. I don’t want to be party to purges and I sure as hell don’t want to give the likes Sarah Palin the satisfaction of an “I told you so” moment. Snap out of it people! We’re winning! We don’t need to do this!

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High Frequency Theft

Finally, high frequency trading is getting some attention (I first blogged about it almost four years ago!) The new book “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis has Wall Street fat cats in an uproar (just what you might expect when they get caught with both hands and maybe even a foot or two in the cookie jar).

MSNBC puts it bluntly — “Yes, the stock market is rigged” (that link actually has an easy-to-understand description of how you are getting robbed every time you buy stock).

Even better (and more entertaining) is Jon Stewart’s interview with book author Lewis. I’ve posted all three videos of the extended interview, and if you care at all about the economy, business, and how far the playing field has been tilted against you, you gotta watch it all:

It is fascinating not just that most stock markets are rigged, but that those in the media who purport to be giving you financial advice to help you are actually purposely helping Wall Street to fleece you out of your money. With the full cooperation of the government who have been pushing the middle class to trust their retirement savings in the market.

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