OK

Last night, Jon Stewart delivered a great rant against both the Republicans and the media for how they're dealing with the sequester.

The sequester is here!  The arbitrary budget cuts that were so onerous, Congress would never allow the sequester to take effect.  Remember?
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (11/17/2011): The sequester is ugly, it was designed to be ugly.

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY (11/21/2011): ... onerous and undesirable, and it remains our view that that is not the way to go.

CHARLES PAYNE (11/12/2011): Absolutely no way I think they'll let it go, this just can't happen.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER, R-IL (8/1/2011): Automatic triggers are actually set up to be so painful that we don't have to get to that point.

BARACK OBAMA (10/22/2012): It will not happen.

Of course it willn't.  Democrats and Republicans would have to be incredibly incompetent, not to be able to avoid this self-designed and imposed mutual ball punch.  It's as likely as Dennis Rodman being our chief envoy to North Korea!  Or the hottest show in the country being about duck call manufacturing.

And by the way, even though coming up with the most basic of spending cut and tax revenue frameworks was beyond the skill level of this Congress, there is another way to completely avoid these arbitrary cuts.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ (10/13/2011): We will be amongst the first on the floor to nullify that provision.  The Congress is not bound by this.  It's something we passed.  We can reverse it.

SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OK (8/1/2011): You know, I think we'll bypass the trigger mechanism.  We'll just say time out, it doesn't apply.

All they had to do was go (makes "timeout" signal with hands) timeout!  And I get it, passing a budget can be hard.  But timeouts, those are fucking easy!  That's why the Founders, in their infinite wisdom, gave Congress three timeouts per legislative session.  And one "not it".

But it still happened.  'Cause Congress has always, in its infinite wisdom, forgot just how fucking incompetent they really are.  They got cocky.  Here's what Congress did with the sequester.  It was like they tied a belt around their neck, and then looped it over the shower curtain, in the hopes that this pressure would somehow heighten the sensation of getting something done.  (audience laughter and applause)

But here's the thing that Congress didn't realize.  Here's the thing about auto-erotic asphyxiation.  Everybody thinks they can pull it off.  Until they can't.  Now it's been three days, and the mail's starting to pile up outside Congress, and we are looking at a very awkward memorial.

The stress is clearly getting to the main players in this drama, as each of them slipped up in their public remarks last week.  See if you can spot how they slip up.

BARACK OBAMA (3/1/2013): I'm presenting a fair deal.  The fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (2/28/2013): How much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government?

OK, did you see what happened there?  OK, so Obama's mess-up was that he confused the Star Wars Jedi mind trick with the Star Trek Vulcan mind meld, which are two completely different made-up things.  Meanwhile, John Boehner apparently referred to taxation as theft, which reflects a lack of understanding of the United States Constitution, aka, the document setting forth the rules and laws underpinning the legislative body, of which he is nominally in charge.  I wonder which one of those will get more widespread attention.
DANA PERINO (3/2/2013): President Obama, drawing the nerdly wrath of sci-fi fans.

ED HENRY (3/1/2013): ... saying there was no Jedi mind meld between he and Republican leaders.

ALEX WITT (3/2/2013): Twitter went wild after this.

GOOD MORNING AMERICA (3/2/2013): The President seemed to confuse Star Trek's Vulcan mind meld with Star Wars' Jedi mind trick.

ERIN BURNETT (3/1/2013): This is sci-fi sacrilege!

ED SCHULTZ (3/1/2013): He did kinda mess up a little bit, didn't he?

GEORGE TAKEI (3/1/2013): No, I don't think so.

THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SAID TAXING PEOPLE WAS STEALING!!!!!

....

You know what?  I'm beginning to realize that auto-erotic asphyxiation isn't really the right metaphor for the sequester.  Because Congress did rig it up.  And if they had pulled off the compromise, I guess it would have felt amazing for them.  But as usual, they did it wrong, and yet somehow, we're the ones blacking out, while they're all still jerking off.  (audience cheering and applause)

Video and full transcript below the fold.

Wait a minute, where's my pen?  I specifically remember applying for a federal grant for a pen.  Where's my pen??
CBS NEWS (3/2/2013): It's official.

FOX NEWS (3/1/2013): The sequestration has arrived.

LESTER HOLT (3/2/2013): $85 billion dollars in automatic government spending cuts.

Damnit!  The first penalty of the sequester, my federal pen program!  It's a fake thing.

The sequester is here!  The arbitrary budget cuts that were so onerous, Congress would never allow the sequester to take effect.  Remember?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (11/17/2011): The sequester is ugly, it was designed to be ugly.

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY (11/21/2011): ... onerous and undesirable, and it remains our view that that is not the way to go.

CHARLES PAYNE (11/12/2011): Absolutely no way I think they'll let it go, this just can't happen.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER, R-IL (8/1/2011): Automatic triggers are actually set up to be so painful that we don't have to get to that point.

BARACK OBAMA (10/22/2012): It will not happen.

Of course it willn't.  Democrats and Republicans would have to be incredibly incompetent, not to be able to avoid this self-designed and imposed mutual ball punch.  It's as likely as Dennis Rodman being our chief envoy to North Korea!  Or the hottest show in the country being about duck call manufacturing.

And by the way, even though coming up with the most basic of spending cut and tax revenue frameworks was beyond the skill level of this Congress, there is another way to completely avoid these arbitrary cuts.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ (10/13/2011): We will be amongst the first on the floor to nullify that provision.  The Congress is not bound by this.  It's something we passed.  We can reverse it.

SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OK (8/1/2011): You know, I think we'll bypass the trigger mechanism.  We'll just say time out, it doesn't apply.

All they had to do was go (makes "timeout" signal with hands) timeout!  And I get it, passing a budget can be hard.  But timeouts, those are fucking easy!  That's why the Founders, in their infinite wisdom, gave Congress three timeouts per legislative session.  And one "not it".

But it still happened.  'Cause Congress has always, in its infinite wisdom, forgot just how fucking incompetent they really are.  They got cocky.  Here's what Congress did with the sequester.  It was like they tied a belt around their neck, and then looped it over the shower curtain, in the hopes that this pressure would somehow heighten the sensation of getting something done.  (audience laughter and applause)

But here's the thing that Congress didn't realize.  Here's the thing about auto-erotic asphyxiation.  Everybody thinks they can pull it off.  Until they can't.  Now it's been three days, and the mail's starting to pile up outside Congress, and we are looking at a very awkward memorial.

The stress is clearly getting to the main players in this drama, as each of them slipped up in their public remarks last week.  See if you can spot how they slip up.

BARACK OBAMA (3/1/2013): I'm presenting a fair deal.  The fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (2/28/2013): How much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government?

OK, did you see what happened there?  OK, so Obama's mess-up was that he confused the Star Wars Jedi mind trick with the Star Trek Vulcan mind meld, which are two completely different made-up things.  Meanwhile, John Boehner apparently referred to taxation as theft, which reflects a lack of understanding of the United States Constitution, aka, the document setting forth the rules and laws underpinning the legislative body, of which he is nominally in charge.  I wonder which one of those will get more widespread attention.
DANA PERINO (3/2/2013): President Obama, drawing the nerdly wrath of sci-fi fans.

ED HENRY (3/1/2013): ... saying there was no Jedi mind meld between he and Republican leaders.

ALEX WITT (3/2/2013): Twitter went wild after this.

GOOD MORNING AMERICA (3/2/2013): The President seemed to confuse Star Trek's Vulcan mind meld with Star Wars' Jedi mind trick.

ERIN BURNETT (3/1/2013): This is sci-fi sacrilege!

ED SCHULTZ (3/1/2013): He did kinda mess up a little bit, didn't he?

GEORGE TAKEI (3/1/2013): No, I don't think so.

THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SAID TAXING PEOPLE WAS STEALING!!!!!

Tip to cable news: if there's ever a fact that you don't need to check, it's anything to do with Star Wars or Star Trek.  It will be checked.  In fact, here's a shot of Twitter's server one second after Obama said it.

BARACK OBAMA (3/1/2013): ... do a Jedi mind meld ...

(audience cheering and applause)

They really have to fix that flaw in the design of the Death Star.

Now in the President and Speaker Boehner's statements, we do get a hint of why the sequester is happening.  The sequester — the penalty for not finding a way to balance revenue and spending — consists entirely of cuts in spending.  How do Republicans feel again about cuts in spending?

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WI (8/14/2012): We want to reduce the size of government.

REP. CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS, R-WA (12/4/2012): ... cut the spending, reduce the debt ...

RICK SANTORUM (2/4/2012): ... shrink the size of government ...

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UT (11/13/2012): We need to cut spending.

SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OK (7/12/2011): ... a more limited government, a more effective government ... to put it all on a very strict Atkins-style diet.

I wish I was there when Democrats said to Republicans, "Look, if we can't come to a deal, there's going to be massive, across-the-board spending cuts."  I'm sure the Republicans were like, "OK.  If that's what you want."  (audience applause and cheering)  Basically, the sequester amounts to catching your kid smoking, and forcing him to smoke an entire carton of cigarettes, only your kid is Denis Leary.

And by the way, in case you're wondering if the Congressional incompetence that will have real-world implications for many of our nation's neediest — if that has any real-world implications for Congress — yeah, not so much.

NEWS REPORT (2/21/2013): Members of Congress, the very people who voted to put these cuts in place, won't see any change to their own $174,000 a year paychecks.  They're exempt.
What an onerous penalty the sequester is, for them.  Their jobs are safe; their salaries are safe.  There are worse penalties for fucking up on Top Chef than there are in Congress!  At least there, you gotta pack your knives and go!  Although of course, nowadays, with Last Chance Kitchen, you can still work your way back into the show, and then of course, you know, there's the All-Stars seasons where sometimes we're just gonna parachute old contestants onto the show for no good reason.  I mean, Josie?  You brought fucking Josie back?  Nobody wanted Josie back!  At least Stefan can cook.  CJ's cool, nobody....  (audience laughter and applause)

You know what?  I'm beginning to realize that auto-erotic asphyxiation isn't really the right metaphor for the sequester.  Because Congress did rig it up.  And if they had pulled off the compromise, I guess it would have felt amazing for them.  But as usual, they did it wrong, and yet somehow, we're the ones blacking out, while they're all still jerking off.  (audience cheering and applause)

We'll be right back.

Jon then compared the news made over the weekend by Mitt Romney and Dennis Rodman, and their various states of delusion.
Meanwhile, Stephen also covered the sequester, along with Obama's flub.
He then had another Enemy Within profile, this time focusing on scallops' balls.
He then looked at some of the ideas coming from gun advocates in Texas.
Jon talked with actor Paul Rudd, and Stephen talked with Kirk Bloodsworth, who is trying to get rid of the death penalty.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:05 AM PST.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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