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Archive for December 22nd, 2012

I’m not sure what it says about me – or about readers – that the three most-viewed posts on this blog involve humor.

The welfare state drawings weren’t even intended as a joke. I wanted to make an important point about how entitlement programs start small, but then balloon in size as politicians buy more votes and create more dependency.

But whenever I share these drawings as part of Powerpoint presentations, audiences laugh. So there’s obviously something amusing about them, even if only because of dark humor – i.e., in a we’re-doomed-if-we-don’t-reform-entitlements-so-we-may-as-well-laugh kind of way.

Anyhow, political humor seems to be very popular, so several readers have sent nagging emails asking why it’s been over a month since I shared any of the jokes from the late-night comics and talk-show hosts.

My last batch was right before the election, so it has been awhile. So, you ask and I deliver.

Jay Leno

  • As you know, the Mayans said the world will end tomorrow, and like everybody else, they blame Bush.
  • It looks like President Obama is going to pick John Kerry to be our next secretary of state. This is a very strategic move when it comes to foreign policy. Obama plans to use Kerry to bore our enemies to death.
  • A 2009 Ford F-150 pickup truck, once owned by President George W. Bush, is going up for auction in a couple of weeks. All the proceeds will go to military families. President Obama should buy this truck because when something goes wrong he can blame it on Bush.
  • In what’s being called a stunning literary find, a Danish historian has discovered the last remaining, unpublished fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen. It’s called “Congress Solves the Fiscal Cliff.”
  • Police are now looking for a man who robbed a bank wearing a Mitt Romney mask. He robbed the bank, fled the area, and then stashed the money somewhere in the Cayman Islands.
  • The Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday morning, and “Lincoln” got seven nominations. Finally, a Republican who might win something.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a failure to reach a deal for the fiscal cliff will hurt the recovery. The good news is most Americans will not be affected by this because they had no idea there WAS a recovery.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau says that by the year 2043, white people will be in the minority in the United States. By that time, the country will be 15 percent black, 31 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent Republican.
  • According to a new study at UCLA, Latinos live longer than non-Latinos. More bad news for Republicans.
  • Today in Washington, President Obama met with leaders of the American Indian tribes and they honored the president by giving him his own Indian name: “Running Deficit.”
  • There was one really awkward moment with the American Indians. In the middle of the meeting, Joe Biden walked in wearing a Redskins jersey.
  • President Clinton and President Obama played a round of golf over the weekend. President Clinton asked Obama what his handicap was, and Obama said, “Joe Biden.”
  • There are now reports that President Obama will name Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to be the next secretary of defense. Apparently this is part of America’s new defense strategy to bore our enemies to death.
  • The economy is so bad, MSNBC had to lay off 300 Obama spokesmen.
  • It was announced today that former General Petraeus has agreed to testify before Congress. I guess he figured, “Why not?” Those questions can’t be any tougher than the ones he’s getting at home right now.

David Letterman

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton collapsed, passed out, banged her head, got a concussion. She is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Ravens.
  • Christmas is just around the corner. It’s just under two weeks away, and today Santa released 10 years of tax returns.
  • The Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree is being put in place this afternoon. They bring it in and hoist it with a crane and steel cables. It’s the same way they get Chris Christie into his pants.

Conan

  • New Jersey Democrats say Republican Governor Chris Christie will be impossible to beat. It’s unclear if they’re talking about the 2013 governor’s race or Coney Island hot dog-eating contest.
  • According to a new poll, most Americans think Santa Claus is a Democrat — which is really odd because when I think of a fat, old white man who hires unskilled labor, I think Republican.
  • Today New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited the White House. President Obama told him, “I’d invite you to lunch but the deficit is already too high.”

Craig Ferguson

  • New Jersey became a state on this day in 1787. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie celebrated with a giant cake and a bucket of ice cream. Then he remembered today was New Jersey’s birthday.
  • A list of the world’s best cities came out today and the highest-ranking American city is Honolulu at number 28. They got points taken off for bad public transportation, but apparently it’s a great place to get fake birth certificates.
  • To keep this in perspective, the U.S. pays almost a billion dollars to support the first family. Granted, most of that money just goes to making fake birth certificates.

Jimmy Kimmel

  • Christmas is on Tuesday, provided that the world doesn’t end on Friday, which is the end of the Mayan calendar. Some believe there will be massive earthquakes and floods. Others think a planet will collide with the earth. I believe the end of the world will come about in a much stupider way, like Joe Biden spilling a Mountain Dew on the nuclear launch panel.
  • The U.S. Postal Service announced yesterday they are expecting this year’s holiday season to be their busiest ever and also their slowest ever. That’s probably the only business in America that complains about being busy.

Jimmy Fallon

  • There’s a photo going around with President Obama playing with a staffer’s son who’s dressed as Spider-Man. Obama was like, “Shouldn’t you be fighting the Green Goblin?” And the kid was like, “shouldn’t you be working on the fiscal cliff?”
  • The kid was really excited to meet the president, while Joe Biden was real excited to meet Spider-Man.
  • Yesterday, the Senate floor was reserved for farewell speeches from retiring senators. Each senator received a fitting gift: a gold watch that stopped working years ago.

If you want to enjoy previous editions of these one-liners, click herehereherehereherehereherehere,hereherehereherehereherehere, and here.

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I don’t like bloated government. It undermines economic performance by diverting resources from the productive sector of the economy and often leads to destructive tax policy.

But when trying to build support for good fiscal policy, it often helps to cite specific examples of wasteful and foolish government. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been comparing examples of government stupidity and political correctness in the United States and the United Kingdom.

After all, how many people would want to pay more taxes after reviewing these bizarre episodes of government in action?

From the United Kingdom

From the United States

I’ve even shared some instances of moronic behavior from the private sector, and I have another story that may belong in that category.

In this instance, we’re talking about the critical need to protect people from pudding. I’m not joking. Here are some of the details of a very odd report in the Daily Mail.

If you’re lucky enough to look about 18, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to provide ID at the supermarket to buy alcohol, knives or glue. Now an addition has been made to that list of potentially hazardous items – chocolate pudding. Robert Nemeti was amazed when he was asked for ID while buying a microwaveable pudding at Tesco. Mr Nemeti, 24, was going through the self-service checkout when an on-screen warning announced that his purchase had to be ‘approved’. …‘The woman who was monitoring the self-service checkouts came over and asked me for identification showing I was 18. I asked her why and was stunned when she told me: “It gets hot when you cook it – and you may burn yourself”. Surely the same can be said of many of the products they sell in any supermarket? Health and safety has gone crazy if you now have to prove you can be trusted with a chocolate pudding.’ He added: ‘I explained that I didn’t have any ID. Thankfully she agreed that I looked over 18 and she scanned her staff pass to approve the sale.’ Mr Nemeti managed to cook and eat the dessert that evening without injury.

Gee, I’m glad that Mr. Nemeti managed to eat the pudding without causing a fire or suffering burns.

There’s not much I can add to this story. Is this an example of crazy government over-protectiveness, sort of nanny state run amok? Perhaps somewhat similar to Nurse Bloomberg’s attempt to ban large sodas? I don’t know. There aren’t enough details.

Or maybe it’s the fault of the private sector, with some corporate bureaucrat justifying his job by coming up with idiotic rules? Though, to be fair, that’s less destructive than American corporate bureaucrats who have special skills when it comes to getting bailout money.

No warning label?!? Such reckless corporate irresponsibility!

Could it be because the English are learning about America’s lawsuit culture and businesses are having to defend themselves from preposterous legal claims by imposing equally preposterous rules? That would be the indirect fault of government.

But whatever the cause, it’s a sorry sign for civilization. I’ve previously explained that I’m very pessimistic about the United Kingdom’s fiscal outlook. Based on this story, I also should worry about the nation’s mental outlook.

But I’m not throwing stones blindly. I’m fully aware that the United States is a glass house, whether the metric is reckless fiscal policy or a dearth of common sense.

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