Who's Carl This Time?

Originally published on April 16, 2011 11:29 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

CARL KASELL, Host:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

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PETER SAGAL, Host:

Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody. Good to be with you. We have a great show for you today. We've got David Simon, the guy who gave us the Wire and Treme, among other great TV shows. He's coming on later to play Not My Job.

But first, disappointing news for Chicago this week, NASA announced who was going to get the retired space shuttles. And once again, L.A., New York and Washington and Florida won out over us scrappy Midwesterners. As a consolidation prize, though, the Adler Planetarium here in Chicago will get a genuine astronaut simulator. You get inside; all the screens light up, you put on a diaper and pretend to drive all the way to Florida.

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SAGAL: It's exciting. You can win our prize in the clothes you're wearing, though. Just give us a call; the number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924- 8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

MATT WAGNER: Hello, this is Matt Wagner from Hagerstown, Maryland.

SAGAL: Hagerstown, Maryland is not far from Washington, right?

WAGNER: Yeah, we're about 80 miles away, up in the Appalachian foothills.

SAGAL: Oh really? So you're in actual Maryland, Maryland.

WAGNER: That's right, western Maryland.

SAGAL: Yeah, western Maryland. Well, welcome to the show, Matt. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, say hello to a writer for the Boston Global magazine and author most recently of the book, "Idiot America," Mr. Charlie Pierce is here.

WAGNER: Hi, Charlie.

CHARLIE PIERCE: Hey, Matt.

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SAGAL: Next, it's a deputy editor and a blogger for the Houston Chronicle, Ms. Kyrie O'Connor.

WAGNER: Hi, Kyrie.

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KYRIE O: Hi, Matt.

SAGAL: Lastly, it's the man behind the world famous podcast, "Too Beautiful to Live," it's Luke Burbank is here.

WAGNER: Hello, Luke.

LUKE BURBANK: Hey, Matt.

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SAGAL: Matt, welcome to the show. You, of course, are going to play Who's Carl This Time. That's how we start the show. Carl's going to read you three quotations from the week's news. Your job: correctly identify or explain it two times out of three.

WAGNER: Okay.

SAGAL: Ready to play; here we go.

WAGNER: Yep.

SAGAL: For your first quote, let's hear from Speaker John Boehner.

KASELL: I won't get rolled.

SAGAL: It turns out, he did.

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SAGAL: At least according to some members of his own party. He did get rolled as he negotiated what big agreement?

WAGNER: The budget agreement.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

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SAGAL: It was last Friday night, and Boehner stayed up late, really late, maybe too late, negotiating a deal with Democrats to keep the government open. And you know how it goes; you get desperate to go home with something before the bar closes...

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SAGAL: He let his vision get clouded. Experienced political pundits call this effect "budget goggles."

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SAGAL: Boehner trumpeted that he had thirty-nine billion dollars in immediate budget cuts, but the Congressional Budget Office added it all up, and it's really just three-hundred and fifty million dollars in cuts. That's nothing in Washington, three-hundred and fifty million. It's what they put out in a tray next to the Capitol cash register.

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SAGAL: Need a million? Take a million, no biggie. Once this news came out, the Republicans rebelled. Boehner had to ask the Democrats to help him pass his own bill. They said, "Fine, fine, just stop sobbing."

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CONNOR: Come on, don't you love John Boehner though? I mean, he's kind of a new kind of Republican. He's, like, emotional and he's conservative. He's an emoticon.

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SAGAL: Nicely done. Well, I mean, were you guys following this? Because some people say that basically Obama tricked them, because they thought they had all these budget cuts, but it turns out they're all, for the most part, just accounting gimmicks.

PIERCE: Well, I mean, it's not like he was selling a Toyota Tercel on eBay. You know, they had a chance to do some research.

SAGAL: Yes, that's true.

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PIERCE: Like, he tricked them? It isn't like he took some pictures of the budget from flattering angles.

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PIERCE: Vacuumed the carpeting.

SAGAL: Oh, isn't it just like when you meet the budget after communicating online, the pictures are always, always too flattering.

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SAGAL: It turns out, in addition to all this, we also found out some weird things went into the bill. Did you hear about this? Including legislation that takes the gray wolf off the endangered species list. That's in the bill. You can now shoot gray wolves if you want to. It was a test of wills between the wolves and lobbyists representing western ranchers. It turns out, lobbyists, more bloodthirsty than wolves.

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SAGAL: And the poor wolves, they don't know how it's done. You know, they put on their suits and they came to Washington, but they stood outside the capitol huffing and puffing, trying to blow it down.

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CONNOR: Awww.

SAGAL: It seemed hopeless, but one wolf was out there egging them on, saying "Come on, guys, there are 435 pigs in there. We'll eat like kings."

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SAGAL: Matt, your next quote is part of a game that we call...

KASELL: (Singing) Getting to know you.

SAGAL: Which we play whenever a new candidate gets into the presidential race, because we like to hear Carl sing. Let's hear from this week's newcomer.

KASELL: The president and his people spend more time talking about me and Massachusetts health care then "Entertainment Tonight" spends talking about Charlie Sheen.

SAGAL: And now, imagine a smile with perfect teeth.

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SAGAL: That was from the latest politician to declare his intention of exploring a run for the White House. Who?

WAGNER: Mitt Romney.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, Mittens the Mittster, he's back.

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SAGAL: That's the man who looks into the mirror ever morning and says to himself, "God make me look this way for a reason, so let's get it on."

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SAGAL: He threw his hair back in the ring this week.

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SAGAL: Now, Romney's big problem will be the health care law he signed into law in Massachusetts. But really, who cares? Let's talk about Donald Trump.

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SAGAL: Donald Trump gave an interview to an evangelical radio network this week. Now he's trying to pretend to be a Christian.

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SAGAL: This is true. He was asked when he goes to church, and his answer was, quote, "Always on Christmas, always on Easter, and during the Sundays."

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SAGAL: Asking Trump about religion, it's like asking Sarah Palin about what she reads. It's like, "Mr. Trump, what church to you go to?" Oh, you know, all of them.

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SAGAL: Trump also said he gets - this is true - he said he gets mailed a lot of bibles by supporters. And he said he always puts those bibles in, quote, "a nice place."

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SAGAL: We didn't...

BURBANK: It's a lovely marble fireplace.

SAGAL: Exactly, he's very attached to it.

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SAGAL: This is the thing, according to some polls, including a recent CNN poll, Trump is either tied or leading the field among potential GOP candidates.

PIERCE: Yeah, the American people are just screwing with us.

SAGAL: Really?

PIERCE: You know, they don't care at this point.

BURBANK: He is trending, by the way.

PIERCE: Although, that is - you know, they talk about having to meet somewhere in the middle?

SAGAL: Yeah.

PIERCE: On the whole hair thing, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, there's got to be a bipartisan consensus somewhere in the middle between whatever it is that's living on Trump's head and whatever kind of wood Romney made his hair out of.

SAGAL: Right.

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PIERCE: Because it looks like the thing that's one Donald Trump's head probably gnaws on the thing that Romney's hair is made out of.

CONNOR: Oh geez.

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SAGAL: All right, your last quote, Matt, comes from an investment conducted this week by the Federal Aviation Administration.

KASELL: He was found intentionally sleeping.

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SAGAL: That was FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. He was describing yet another incident of someone sleeping on the job. What's the job?

WAGNER: Air traffic controller, I'm afraid.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

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SAGAL: Most of these guys, you know, are just dozing off. Last week, it was revealed an air traffic controller had been caught actually bringing a pillow and blanket to work with him.

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SAGAL: The man, the bureaucratic overseeing air traffic controllers has resigned. The agency has ended their old policy of providing all overnight controllers with a glass of warm milk.

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BURBANK: And a slanket.

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SAGAL: New safety policies are being put in place, such as having extra controllers on duty during the midnight shift, banning PBS from control tower TV sets.

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SAGAL: And preventing controllers from accepting apples from kindly looking old women.

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SAGAL: Carl, how did Matt do on our quiz?

KASELL: Matt had three correct answers, Peter. So Matt, I'll be doing the message on your voicemail.

SAGAL: Well done.

WAGNER: Hooray.

SAGAL: Thank you.

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WAGNER: You're very welcome. It was a real fun experience. Thank you.

SAGAL: Thanks for being with us. Bye-bye.

WAGNER: Okay, bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.