Throwback Thursday: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! (1998 to Present)

The news doesn’t always have to be serious. Sometimes it can be funny.

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me has been part of the WNYC and NPR schedules since 1998. Currently hosted by Peter Sagal, it is part interview show and part comedic news program. Both panelists and contestants are quizzed about the latest headlines while laughing along the way.

I’ve listened to the show a couple of times. It’s entertaining, but not enough to keep me coming back for more.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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It’s Been Three Years Since Covid Entered Our Lives

There are some events in our larger cultural world that will forever define that era.

Three years ago, Covid 19 entered our lives. Up until then, it was far away, impacting other people. Then it hit home.

I was scheduled to go away that weekend. I took my work laptop home, not knowing what was coming. To say that the weekend was odd was an understatement. The plans that we had fell into pieces. The town in which we were staying was oddly quiet. Many of the stores, which under different circumstances would have been open, were closed. The hotel was barely occupied.

When I got home, I turned on the computer to see an email from my company’s CEO. We had the option of going to the office or working from home. I texted my boss to say that I would not be seeing her in person.

Like many of us, I expected to stay home for a couple of weeks, maybe a month at most. Little did we know that everything knew would change.

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Fox News is Losing Their Shit Because Chelsea Handler is Happily Child Free

Becoming a parent is a blessing. It is also a 24/7/365 job from birth until the child is self-sufficient. And yet, it is still forced on women, whether we want it or not.

Two weeks ago, Chelsea Handler guest hosted The Daily Show. One of the segments was about her decision to not have children.

As expected, the right and Fox News couldn’t handle it. In their “outrage”, the obvious (as was discussed on WNYC‘s All of It last week) is apparent to anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence. For all of human history, motherhood was foisted upon us. Adding insult to injury is the lack of free/affordable childcare, the extreme rise price of college tuition, and the uneven access to healthcare/parental leave.

Having a kid is not like playing with a baby doll that is thrown into the toy chest at the end of the day. It is an all-encompassing task that requires everything that the adult has to give.

Since last summer, I have been spending time with friends who have a toddler. She is at the age in which she goes for everything in sight and has to be watched like a hawk. The last time I was there, my friend had to step out for a minute. I was happy to distract the baby, but I can only imagine the finagling that would have had to be done if I was not there. Multiply that by a gazillion and that is what it is like to be responsible for a young life.

Which is why Fox News and the right can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.

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Republican Fuckery Part VIII: Ilhan Omar Removed From Committees, the AR 15 Pins, and the Texas Ice Storm

The American government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is not supposed to be for the 1%, the lobbyists, and those who think that they can buy their way into power.

Last week, Ilhan Omar was removed from her committee assignments by the Republican leadership. Their reasoning was her previous antisemitic comments. One could argue that the argument is legitimate. However, given the fact that Marjorie Taylor Greene made the comment about Jewish space lasers a few years ago, their rationale is toothless.

In light of the many (and I mean far too many) mass shootings that have occurred in this country, the right has once again shown its true colors. A number of Congresspeople have been seen wearing small pins in the shapes of AR-15 rifles. It is clear to me that they value power over the lives of ordinary Americans.

According to news reports coming out of Texas, another ice storm blanketed the state. Thousands of residents were without power as the temperature dropped to less than 30 degrees. This is not the first time that the power has gone out during a storm such as this.

Just another reason to vote for the Democrats.

P.S. It is possible to get along and get stuff done in Congress, even when those you are working with have opposing political views. On Monday, the final segment of The Brian Lehrer Show, two members of the New York delegation were interviewed about congestion pricing. One is red and one is blue. It is proof that it is possible for our government to be fuctional. But in order for that to happen, divisions need to be set aside.

Tyre Nichols Should be Alive Today

The purpose of law enforcement is to serve and protect, not to attack community members who are just going about their business.

Last Friday in Memphis, Tyre Nichols was on the way home when he was stopped by police. Instead of just being ticketed or taken in for questioning, he was beaten by five officers. By the time Sunday night rolled around, he was dead.

Now there is another son without a father, another mother without her child, and another town struggling to understand how and why another black man was killed by law enforcement.

After the murder of George Floyd, I would have hoped that logic would have dictated that everything would have been done to make sure that it never happened again. But I have been proved wrong too many times.

The only upshot is that the police officers who stopped him have been fired and charged with his murder. What makes it more complicated is that the men accused of his murder are also black.

I don’t know what it will take to get the message across on how to treat a potential suspect. But I do know that an innocent man is dead and there are too many unanswered questions hanging in the air.

May his memory be a blessing. Z”l.

Apples to Apples or Oranges to Oranges? The Case of the Biden Documents

Within the world of politics, there are certain rules, both written and unwritten. One of them is in regard to Presidential documents and what is to be done with them during and after a Presidential administration. The official name of this regulation is The Presidential Records Act.

It is defined as follows:

The Presidential Records Act (PRA) changed the legal status of Presidential and Vice Presidential materials. Under the PRA, the official records of the President and his staff are owned by the United States, not by the President.

One of the major headlines at the end of last year was that at the end of the former guys’ administration, he took multiple boxes of classified paperwork with him.

Last week, the firestorm coming from the White House was the discovery of additional records from when President Biden was Vice President.

It goes without saying that the right is eating this up. But before we go any further, we need to go over the facts.

The right has argued that the unearthing happened last fall and was kept secret in order to influence the results of the midterms. Obviously, I don’t know the reasons for keeping it under wraps, but I don’t think that it is the conspiracy they are making it out to be.

If there is an upside to this, is that Merrick Garland has created a special council to take a deep dive into the information. If nothing else, it shows that he is impartial and nonpartisan (unlike some of his recent predecessors).

As cliche as it sounds, only time will tell what the final results are. But, if nothing else, Biden has again proven that he is a stand-up guy who puts the country and the voters before his personal and political needs. After the last person (who shall remain nameless), it is refreshing and gives me hope that we can rise above the shit from the last few years.

I am For the NYC Bill That Bans Landlords From Criminal Background Checks (Within Reason)

Apartment hunting by itself is a beast of an experience. In New York City, it is ten times harder due to the high rental prices and limited supply.

Earlier this month a bill was introduced to the City Council. If signed into law, it would prevent landlords from completing criminal background checks on potential renters. Last week, the topic was discussed on WNYC‘s The Brian Lehrer Show. The guest during this segment was Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (starts at 18:00).

I think that in theory is a good idea. Building owners/management companies have every right to make sure that a potential tenant will not be a danger either to the property itself or to their neighbors. However, it cannot be black and white. Applying a sliding scale I think is the best way to go about it. Each case should be reviewed individually and not be decided with broad brush strokes.

Finding a home when renting is hard enough. It should not be made more difficult by a criminal record. If removing this obstacle requires legislation, then so be it. I would rather the city or municipality step in to prevent a problem before it becomes one.

The Recent LGBTQ Supreme Court Ruling Was a Waste of Time and Taxpayer Dollars

The purpose of the Supreme Court is to parse our laws and determine the direction that they should take. Its purpose is not to cater to an individual’s beliefs.

On Monday, a bullshit case was brought to the nation’s highest court. Lorie Smith, a wedding website designer from Colorado sued for the right to only work with heterosexual couples. Her claim came via her faith.

Obviously, as a business owner, Ms. Smith has the right to decide which customers she works with. She also has the right to be open and free in her beliefs. By the same turn, an engaged couple has the right to determine which vendors they work with in regard to their big day.

There are two problems here:

  1. The situation that was presented to the court is purely hypothetical. She isn’t open for business yet.
  2. It harkens back to the days in which the following sign appeared on the doorway of a business: No (enter ethnicity or racial background here) allowed. In this case, the (digital) sign says LGBTQ. I want to believe that this idea is in the past, but I know better.

This was nothing more than a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. In an effort to legitimize her own prejudice, she took space away from a real case that could affect our future as a country.

This is shameful. We are better than this, I know we are. Unfortunately, there are people like Lorie Smith who keep us in the past instead of moving forward.

Should President Biden Run Again for President in 2024?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one election cycle ends, another begins.

Now that the 2022 midterms are in the rearview mirror, the focus is on the 2024 Presidential election. As of last month, President Biden has not said he will not run in 2024, nor has he said he will run.

The question is, is there enough support among both the voting public and the political Democrats class to support him?

Earlier this week, the question was posed on WNYC‘s The Brian Lehrer Show.

The argument for and against are as follows:


  1. He took a political lemon and made lemonade: Given the mess he was handed in 2021 (and what has happened since then), I think he has done a good job of bringing us back to some version of normal.
  2. Compared to his predecessor, Biden has kept his promises and has genuinely led the country.
  3. He understands the job and who he is responsible for.
  4. He comes off (to me at least) as an everyman. Biden wants the US and her people to thrive. He is not interested in pursuing politics for personal gain.


  1. He is 80 years old. If he does win in 2024, will he have the cognitive ability to handle whatever comes his way?
  2. At the end of the day (as good as he is), Biden is just another old white man. Do we really want to pretend that in 2022, that the only people who can lead are Caucasian men of a certain age?
  3. We are a divided nation, that is a fact. One of the things I disagree with him about is that he thinks we can still negotiate with the right. Given the behavior of the Republicans in the past few years, I think we all have to be more realistic.
  4. Overall, we need new blood in politics. Preferably younger, female, possibly LGBTQ, and not Caucasian.

Only time will tell if Biden runs in two years. But the one thing that I do know is that I thank G d every day that he is President.

P.S. What is up with the Republican’s obsession with Hunter Biden? There are far more important issues to deal with than Hunter’s alleged (and private) past business dealings.

On the Media: The Divided Dial Podcast Review

The media in its various forms (television, radio, etc) is by itself a tool. How it is used is based on the individual’s needs and perspective.

The new five-part podcast, On the Media: The Divided Dial is a part of the long-running WNYC produced On the Media program. The focus of this short-lived series is how a certain company (which I will not name in this blog) has used the media to share its right-wing perspective with its listeners.

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So far, three of the five episodes have aired. From my perspective, it is a reminder that this perversion is here to stay and has been part of our cultural landscape for many years. Though the argument for free speech is valid, relevant, and important, there is the question of what happens when the line that leads to violence and hatred is crossed.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

New episodes of On the Media: The Divided Dial is released every Tuesday.

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