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Archive for August 25th, 2012

It’s been more than one month since I posted the last collection of jokes and one-liners from the late-night talk show hosts.

So without further adieu, courtesy of the folks at Newsmax.com, are my favorites since that time. I’m surprised there’s not more material about Todd Akin, but that may change in coming days.

My favorite is the “50 states” comment from Leno.

Jay Leno

  • They’re now worried that Tropical Storm Isaac could hit Florida during next week’s Republican convention. But Florida is ready for it. Thanks to President Obama’s economic policies, many businesses down there are already boarded up.
  • Actually, Mitt Romney and Hurricane Isaac have something in common. They can both change directions at any moment.
  • It’s now being reported that Joe Biden will go to the Republican convention to try to cause problems for Mitt Romney. Then after that, he will go to the Democratic convention where he will definitely cause problems for President Obama.
  • At a campaign stop in Virginia, Joe Biden said he is such a NASCAR fan, “I’d trade being vice president in a heartbeat for winning Daytona.” To which President Obama said, “Deal!”
  • Happy birthday to gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt. He turned 26 this week. You know the sad thing? His world-record time has already been broken by Republicans running away from Missouri Congressman Todd Akin.
  • Mitt Romney says if he is elected he will create 12 million new jobs in his first year in office — and that’s just people to do his taxes.
  • Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate from Missouri, is under fire for his controversial comments that women who are “legitimately raped are less likely to get pregnant.” The good news? Candidates who are legitimately that stupid are less likely to get elected.
  • President Obama met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the Oval Office. They agreed on a new economic plan after losing last night’s big Powerball lottery.
  • President Obama is still reminding people that he inherited this economy. Let me tell you something. If this economy doesn’t turn around soon, his inheritance could be cut off in November.
  • After his latest gaffe, Joe Biden has a new slogan — “Chains you can believe in.”
  • Even though he made a number of gaffes this week, President Obama says he’s sticking with Joe Biden as his running mate, and Biden is thrilled. Of course he’s thrilled. Do you want to be looking for a job in this economy?
  • It was 109 degrees today in Los Angeles. It was so hot today, Joe Biden was putting his foot in his mouth just to cool it off.
  • President Obama visited a wind farm in Iowa. You know, just one wind farm with 50 turbines generates as much wind power as a single Joe Biden speech.
  • Mitt Romney kept his selection of Ryan as his VP nominee secret for more than a week. You know how he was able to keep it secret? He had it hidden with his tax returns.
  • Police in Florida have arrested a man who said he finally achieved his goal of shoplifting in all 50 states. You know what you call someone who steals from all 50 states? Congressman.

David Letterman

  • Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has some interesting views on health. I think he’s in a little hot water. Penn State took down his statue today.
  • Mitt Romney has asked Todd Akin to step down. That’s too bad. Todd Akin was the guy to lead the Republican Party into the 16th century.
  • Today the Republicans are getting ready for the convention. They’re busy down there in Florida auditioning minorities.
  • Paul Ryan likes to catch a catfish bare-handed. He’ll wade into a river and pull it out with his bare hands. Meanwhile, Chris Christie likes to reach into the tank at Red Lobster.
  • Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan as his running mate. They say this could be a big boost for the Republican ticket and I was thinking, “Well, Joe Biden could be a big boost for the Republican ticket, you know?”
  • Biden has made too many mistakes for Obama and he’s fed up. So today President Obama called Mitt Romney and asked Mitt if he would fire Biden.
  • I think Chris Christie is a good choice for the keynote speaker. I mean, is there a better symbol for belt tightening than Chris Christie?

Jimmy Fallon

  • CNN plans to air a 90-minute documentary on Mitt Romney before the Republican National Convention. Yeah, 90 minutes of Mitt Romney. Even Red Bull is like, “This is outta my league, bro.”
  • President Obama’s supporters can now text the word “GIVE” to donate up to $50 to his campaign, although it’s frustrating when autocorrect keeps changing it to “Fix the economy.”
  • It was just announced that most of the speakers at this year’s Democratic National Convention will be women. But it’s going to be annoying when they stop speaking, but won’t tell you why.
  • A hurricane could threaten next week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa. It could really hurt Republicans — which explains its name, “Hurricane Todd Akin.”
  • I read that one of the presidential debates will have a town hall format where citizens will ask the candidates questions. The most common question: “Are you the only two choices?”
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he will think about running for president in 2016 if Obama wins in November. But until then he said he’ll just think about pancakes.

You can persuse earlier versions of jokes from the late-night comics by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here, herehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here.

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I’ve written about the TSA being a wasteful, stupid, and ineffective bureaucracy, and I’ve also shared some good anti-TSA humor (see the links in this post, which also contains an amazing visual).

Today, let’s focus on the wasteful and ineffective part. It seems that Keystone Cops of airport security have a new “pilot program” that is unpleasantly reminiscent of the old internal passport regime maintained by South Africa in the apartheid era.

Here is some of what one passenger wrote about his experience.

I came face-to-face with Big Brother the other day, and it was a frightening experience. He actually presented himself in the deceptive form of a young, attractive female officer, working for the Transportation Security Administration at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. At first she simply seemed chatty and friendly. She looked at my airline boarding pass and noted that I was coming from Denver. Then she mentioned that I was headed from Detroit to Grand Rapids. “That’s a pretty short flight,” she said. “Talk to my travel agent,” I grumbled. At that point she asked me what my business would be in Grand Rapids. “I’m headed home,” I replied. Then she wanted to know where home was. That’s when the mental alarms went off and I realized I was being interrogated by Big Brother in drag. I asked her why the federal government needed to know where I was going and what I would be doing. She explained that the questions were part of a new security “pilot program.” I then told her I am an American citizen, traveling within my own country, and I wasn’t breaking any laws. That’s all the federal government needed to know, and I wasn’t going to share any more. Not because I had anything to hide. It was because we live in a free country where innocent people are supposedly protected from unwarranted government intrusion and harassment.

Good for Mr. Gunn. Here’s more of his story.

At that point the agent yelled out, “We have another refusal.” One of my bags was seized and I was momentarily detained and given a hand-swab, which I believe was to test for residue from bomb-making materials. I passed the bomb test and was told I could move on, but I hung around a moment and told everyone within listening range what I thought about this terrifying experience. So, this is what we’ve come to. The federal government now has a need to know where citizens are going and what they are doing before they are allowed to peacefully pass. I’m starting to wonder what separates us from Russia or Cuba. …TSA officers, being the brilliant people they are, are given the responsibility of picking out airline passengers “whose facial expressions, body language or other behavior indicate a security risk.” They are then subjected to a “chat down,” where officers interrogate you and decide if you are indeed a terrorist.

I confess I’m not as brave as Mr. Gunn. I wouldn’t want to risk missing a flight because a peevish bureaucrat deliberately delayed me. But I fully agree with his conclusion.

This program is a bizarre and outlandish violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is supposed to protect us from “unreasonable search and seizure” by agents of the government, unless they have probable cause. I doubt any judge would have considered my droopy face as sufficient cause for harassment. I lived through 9/11 and I understand the need for tight security at airports. …The idea is to keep dangerous materials that could be used in a terrorist attack off commercial airliners. Fair enough. But stopping people because they look sort of funny to security agents, and probing into their personal business, is going too far. What’s next? Check lanes on city streets, where jackbooted thugs from Washington, D.C., will stop everyone every morning to ask them where they’re going and what they’re up to? And if our answers are not what the government wants to hear, perhaps we’ll be sent home and put under surveillance, to make sure we’re not involved in anything that Big Brother doesn’t approve of. Our freedom is severely compromised when government is allowed to do this sort of thing. We are supposed to be presumed innocent and able to come and go as we please, as long as we don’t break any laws or give authorities reason to believe we may have. The “chat down” program has been a failure, by the way, at least according to a recent editorial published in USA Today. TSA officials interviewed about 725,000 travelers at Logan International Airport in Boston over the course of one year, and none of them turned out to be terrorists. ..There is no justification for this type of unwarranted harassment in America. Even people who look a little different should be allowed to move about as they please, unless they give authorities a specific reason to stop them.

So what’s all this mean? What’s the answer. Simple. Put the private sector in charge, as Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz have argued. As Steve Chapman explains, there were lots of benefits to the pre-TSA system.

(h/t: J.D. Tuccille)

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