Great Quotes from the 2016 Nerd Prom

The annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner allows the President to throw some barbs at himself and the press and is a good time to observe a President’s sense of humor first hand. Known jokingly as the “nerd prom” it gets bigger and bigger every year. And every year, I love posting the President’s best jokes. (Click here for the 2015 list, 2014 list, and the 2013 list).  There are some sigh gag jokes that are not in the transcript below, so you really should just watch the video.

Good evening, everybody. It is an honor to be here at my last — and perhaps the last — White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

You all look great. The end of the Republic has never looked better.

I do apologize — I know I was a little late tonight. I was running on C.P.T. — which stands for “jokes that white people should not make.”

Anyway, here we are. My eighth and final appearance at this unique event. And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year.  Earn me some serious Tubmans.

Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be. But standing here, I can’t help but be reflective, a little sentimental. Eight years ago, I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor, and look at me now.  I am gray and grizzled, just counting down the days ’til my death panel.

For months now congressional Republicans have been saying there are things I cannot do in my final year. You know who you are, Republicans. Security, bar the doors! Judge Merrick Garland, come on out, we’re going to do this right here, right now. It’s like “The Red Wedding.”

Yet, somehow, despite all this, despite the churn, in my final year, my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major.

Anyway, in this last year I do have more appreciation for those who have been with me on this amazing ride, like one of our finest public servants, Joe Biden. I love Joe Biden, I really do. And I want to thank him for his friendship, for his counsel, for always giving it to me straight, for not shooting anybody in the face.

I also would like to acknowledge some of the award-winning reporters that we have with us here tonight. Rachel McAdams. Mark Ruffalo. Liev Schreiber.  Thank you all for everything that you’ve done. I’m just joking. As you know, “Spotlight” is a film, a movie about investigative journalists with the resources and the autonomy to chase down the truth and hold the powerful accountable. Best fantasy film since Star Wars.

Sitting at the same table, I see Mike Bloomberg. Mike, a combative, controversial New York billionaire is leading the GOP primary and it is not you. That’s has to sting a little bit. Although it’s not an entirely fair comparison between you and the Donald. After all, Mike was a big-city mayor. He knows policy in depth. And he’s actually worth the amount of money that he says he is.

What an election season. For example, we’ve got the bright new face of the Democratic Party here tonight –- Mr. Bernie Sanders! Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or to put it in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of 27 dollars each.

A lot of folks have been surprised by the Bernie phenomenon, especially his appeal to young people. But not me, I get it. Just recently, a young person came up to me and said she was sick of politicians standing in the way of her dreams. As if we were actually going to let Malia go to Burning Man this year.

Look, I’ve said how much I admire Hillary’s toughness, her smarts, her policy chops, her experience. You’ve got to admit it, though, Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative just signed up for Facebook. “Dear America, did you get my poke?” “Is it appearing on your wall?” “I’m not sure I am using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.”

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, things are a little more — how should we say this — a little “more loose.” Just look at the confusion over the invitations to tonight’s dinner. Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish, but instead, a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan.

Well, let me conclude tonight on a more serious note. I want to thank the Washington press corps, I want to thank Carol for all that you do. The free press is central to our democracy, and — nah, I’m just kidding! You know I’ve got to talk about Trump! Come on! We weren’t just going to stop there.

The Republican establishment is incredulous that he is their most likely nominee — incredulous, shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be President. But, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan.

And there’s one area where Donald’s experience could be invaluable -– and that’s closing Guantanamo. Because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground.

So I want to close my final White House Correspondents’ Dinner by just saying thank you. I’m very proud of what you’ve done. It has been an honor and a privilege to work side by side with you to strengthen our democracy.

And with that, I just have two more words to say -– Obama out. (Drops microphone. No, seriously, he literally dropped the microphone.)

The most corrupt President ever

It’s the most corrupt White House in the history of America — literally over a hundred administration officials indicted and/or convicted. No other president comes close, not even Nixon.

I’m referring to the Reagan years, of course. Selling weapons to our enemy in Iran was just the tip of the iceberg.

What, did you think I meant Obama?

“The most corrupt President ever” is a refrain we hear from the right, but usually when you pin them down, it’s all stuff like “He ignores the Constitution by passing Executive Orders!” (but less than any President since Grover Cleveland) or “He was the cause of Benghazi!” (which was a tragedy but not a conspiracy) or some other variation of “He does things I don’t like.”evilobama7

But just look at practical, comparable data with other Presidents for things like how many members of his administration were indicted and/or convicted? Obama’s administration has been the cleanest since Jimmy Carter’s. Sure, some people have resigned for political and administrative reasons (such as from the IRS “scandal”) but that’s not the same thing as being indicted or convicted of a crime.

(Before someone finds some example of someone Obama’s never even met working in the lower levels of some bureaucracy who was found guilty of something and who could have been hired during the Bush administration: We’re talking about and comparing high-level people personally hired or appointed by the President or his direct staff whose term most likely expires when the President’s term expires.)

EDIT:  Obviously, this was written before Trump

The Annual Look Back at Psychic Predictions for 2015

Happy New Year! Here it is, 2016, and time for our annual look back at the 2015 predictions made by psychics.

I predicted last year that, like every previous year we’ve done this (2014, 2013), the psychics would be wrong pretty much 100% of the time, and once more, I was right!

I must be psychic!psychic1

Of course, some of their predictions did come true, but you didn’t have to be a psychic to predict some of these things.  (These are real “psychic predictions” from December of 2014. I am not making these up):

  • Hollywood will release big blockbusters sequels in 2015: Hunger Games, Star Wars: Episode VII, Mission Impossible 5. (Really? Who would have predicted that these three films would be released in 2015? Why, you’d almost have to read anything on the internet to know that!)
  • Windows 10 released by Microsoft. (Yes, this was an actual “psychic” prediction as well.)
  • There are going to be the deaths of three celebrities in 2015. One will be by suicide, one will be drug related, and one will be of natural causes. (Given that “celebrities” here could mean anything from TV stars to recording artists to newscasters to politicians, yeah, I’m going to guess that at least three of them died last year and at least one would be from each of the reasons given above.)
  • An evangelical minister is going to outed for being gay. (Geez, that never happens!)

But, as you may guess (just like a psychic does!), the vast majority of these random guesses supernaturally provided predictions were absolutely wrong:

  • South African to win Ms. World; runner-up, Ms. India  (Nope to both)
  • Major religious leader passes away, as also a former President of U.S. (Well, you can probably find some random “major religious leader” who died, but President? Nope.)
  • U.S. Congress will pass a law to ban the sale of guns to people with mental disorders. (Yeah, I wish!)
  • Rumors of an Illness or accident around Hillary Clinton will sideline her chances of becoming the first female U.S. President in 2016. This will concern her feet (as in tripping and falling) or a medically related disease connected to her bones. (We all remember that, right?)
  • Tokyo in ruins after a giant earthquake. (Or maybe Godzilla?)
  • A dog breaks a world record. (What? That’s the entire prediction? Come on, guy, you have to give me more than that! What world record? Most albums sold? Tightrope walking? Smelliest farts?)
  • There are going to be many UFO sightings in 2015. Sightings of actual aliens, and people being abducted by aliens, will also be on the rise. This will be due to the major planetary shifts our planet will experience in the upcoming year. (Because who could forget these? And that “major planetary shift” that all the astronomers talked about all year?)
  • Last year for Vladimir Putin to be in power in Russia. (Nyet)
  • Pope resigns because of hidden illness. (Nuh uh)

You get the idea; we could do this all day.

Now, just for kicks, let’s think about what some of the biggest stories were in 2015 (according to ABC news).

  • Chalie Hedbo attacks in Pariszoltar
  • Germanwings plane crash
  • Shootings by police officers
  • Amtrack train crash
  • Prison escape in New York
  • Charlestown church shooting
  • On-air shooting in Virginia
  • Major murder trials
  • European refugee crisis
  • Gay marriage approved by the Supreme Court
  • Pope visits America
  • Massive terrorist attacks in Paris
  • Many mass shootings in America

You’d think at least one of these would be foreseen by psychics, wouldn’t you?

Every once in a while, one out of every hundred predictions made by these people will come true due to the vagueness of the prediction and the law of probabilities, and that’s the one they remind everyone about so people keep giving them money.

If a con artist scams someone out of their money, they can be prosecuted. That’s a crime.  How these people get away with the same sort of thing is beyond me.

This is what scam artists do, of course.  Speaking of which, here are some of the actual predictions Republicans made about what would happen if Obama was re-elected:

  • Gas will be $10.00 a gallon (According to Newt Gingrich, who promised to bring it down to $2.50 a gallon. It’s now around $2.25)
  • Unemployment will be over 8% (According to Mitt Romney. It’s now at 5.8%)
  • The Stock Market will crash (According to Donald Trump; it’s now around 18,000 and has risen 35% since Obama was elected)
  • Obamacare will destroy jobs (According to many Republicans. Instead, unemployment has dropped, especially since medical jobs are growing because of Obamacare)
  • Obama will force young people to go to FEMA re-education concentration camps (Okay, that one was from Michelle Bachmann, so no one with a brain ever took that seriously) 

I guess we can say then, given their similar track record on predictions, that Republicans are psychic.

Willfully stupid idiots still believe Obama is a Muslim

You can be ignorant. That’s not an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being ignorant. I, for instance, am ignorant of quantum mechanics, brain surgery, and fashion. Everybody’s ignorant about something, but ignorance can be cured by education.

You can also be stupid. While that is used as an insult, the fact is that some people, through no fault of their own, were not gifted with brains that work as well as they should.worst muslim

But then you can also be willfully stupid. These are the people who deserve the insults they get.

The willfully stupid can be presented with proof, facts, and evidence and will refuse to accept it because they like being stupid. They won’t change their minds, and they want to hold on to their pre-conceived beliefs, prejudices, and views. They will continue to believe in ghosts, creationism, Bigfoot, astrology, moon landing conspiracies, and the magic of crystals in spite of the lack of evidence to support any of these things, and the mountain of evidence to counter them. And this is especially true of the politically willfully stupid.

Apparently my post from a few days ago where I decried the Republican party for turning into the stupid party has been supported by a new study showing that a majority of them still believe that Obama is a Muslim.

That’s right — the man who was abandoned by his black Muslim father and raised by his white atheist mother somehow decided to convert to being a Muslim while attending Christian churches and fooling everyone by not following a single one of the beliefs that Muslims hold dear.  Clever, he is!

It’s no wonder this party is supporting candidates who appeal to stupidity while ignoring all facts that counter their already-held beliefs.

Obama’s Right: Anti-Immigration is Anti-American

by guest blogger Steve Vaughan

President Obama hit Republican upside the head with the unAmerican stick yesterday.

They certainly deserved it.

“This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that’s out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else,” Obama said. “Don’t pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was all smooth and strict. That’s not how it worked.” The grandparents and great-grandparents of politicians taking a hard line on immigration, he said, were also “somehow considered unworthy or uneducated or unwashed.”

“When I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American,” Obama said.

He’s right.obama-immigration

Nativism is unAmerican.

There have always been nativist fringers…but that’s what they are, the fringe.

Before Hispanics and Asians, their targets were the Irish, the Italians, the Jews.

Nativism is a sucker bet in American politics. You could ask Patrick Buchanan.

The forces of reaction always lose here, because this is a country founded not on common blood lines or common cultural ties but on a shared commitment to an optimistic vision of the future that sees more freedom for more people as the inevitable path forward.

The party of pessimism doesn’t win in the U.S.

When I heard Donald Trump arguing to “Make America Great Again,” my first thought is “America is already great.” And it’s greater now than it was 10 years ago or 50 years ago or 100 years ago. Because the American Dream is within reach of more people.

We’re not perfect. We haven’t achieved “justice for all.” But the strength of America, the real exceptionalism of America is that we keep trying and getting closer. They say that “the arc of history bends towards justice.” That’s truer here than it anywhere else, despite those who want go back rather than forward and would like to strip America of everything that makes it exceptional in the name of nativism.

Steve Vaughan is a reporter and writer residing in Richmond, Virginia. He holds a degree in Political Science from VCU and a masters in Wise Ass from the School of Life.

Obama did not rename Mt. McKinley

Let’s get that straight now. Obama did not “re-name” the mountain. He removed the fake name that had been placed on top of the mountain’s real name.

The mountain had been called “Denali” (“the Great One”) by the natives for centuries until someone decided to name it after a President who had never even been to Alaska. This was done against the wishes on those in Alaska at the time. The move to make the official name “Denali” began back in 1975, when the Alaska legislature asked the President to change the name. And currently, the change has the support of the majority of Alaskans — most of whom are die-hard Republicans. In fact, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, supported the change, and was happy for Obama’s decision, saying this a few days ago:

“For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one.’ I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”

Had George W. Bush done this, I’m sure Fox News would be falling over themselves to congratulate him, but since this came from Obama, you can predict what happened — I don’t even have to post links to the comments, you can make them up yourself and they probably won’t be as crazy and outlandish as the real ones. They sort of sound like this (fake) meme:

bullshit

But there are indeed idiots who apparently believe this, enough so that Snopes had to have an article debunking it (noting, among other things, that there is no such thing as a Kenyan “word” since the official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili).

Great quotes from the 2015 Nerd Prom

The annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner allows the President to throw some barbs at himself and the press and is a good time to observe a President’s sense of humor first hand. Known jokingly as the “nerd prom” it gets bigger and bigger every year. And every year, I love posting the President’s best jokes. (Click here for the 2014 list and the 2013 list).obama1

Welcome to the fourth quarter of my presidency. The fact is, I feel more loose and relaxed than ever. Those Joe Biden shoulder massages, they’re like magic. You should try one. Oh, you have.

And that’s not all people say about me. A few weeks ago, Dick Cheney says he thinks I’m the worst President of his lifetime. Which is interesting, because I think Dick Cheney is the worst President of my lifetime. It’s quite a coincidence. 

Just this week, Michele Bachmann actually predicted that I would bring about the biblical end of days. Now that’s a legacy! That’s big. I mean, Lincoln, Washington—they didn’t do that.  

But I just have to put this stuff aside, I’ve got to stay focused on my job, because for many Americans, this is still a time of deep uncertainty. For example, I have one friend—just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year. And she’s now living out of a van in Iowa.

Back here in our nation’s capital, we’re always dealing with new challenges. I’m happy to report that the Secret Service, thanks to some excellent reporting by White House correspondents, they’re really focusing on some of the issues that have come up. And they finally figured out a full-proof way to keep people off my lawn.

You know what, let me set the record straight. I tease Joe sometimes, but he has been at my side for seven years now. I love that man. He’s not just a great Vice President, he is a great friend. We’ve gotten so close, in some places in Indiana, they won’t serve us pizza anymore.

As always, the reporters here had a lot to cover over the last year. Here on the East Coast, one big story was the brutal winter. The polar vortex caused so many record lows, they renamed it “MSNBC.” 

But of course, let’s face it, there is one issue on every reporter’s mind and that is 2016. Already, we’ve seen some missteps. It turns out Jeb Bush identified himself as “Hispanic” back in 2009. Which you know what, look, I understand. It’s an innocent mistake. Reminds me of when I identified myself as “American” back in 1961. 

Ted Cruz said that denying the existence of climate change made him like Galileo.  Now that’s not really an apt comparison. Galileo believed the Earth revolves around the sun. Ted Cruz believes the Earth revolves around Ted Cruz. 

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum announced that he would not attend the same-sex wedding of a friend or a loved one. To which gays and lesbians across the country responded, that’s not going to be a problem. 

It’s amazing how time flies. Soon, the first presidential contest will take place. And I for one cannot wait to see who the Koch brothers pick.

It’s exciting. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker. Who will finally get that red rose?  The winner gets a billion-dollar war chest. I mean, seriously, a billion dollars. From just two guys. Is it just me, or does that feel a little excessive? I mean, it’s almost insulting to the candidates. The Koch brothers think they need to spend a billion dollars to get folks to like one of these people.  It’s got to hurt their feelings a little bit. 

And, look, I know I’ve raised a lot of money too. But in all fairness, my middle name is “Hussein.” What’s their excuse?

Bernie Sanders might run. I like Bernie. Bernie is an interesting guy. Apparently some folks really want to see a pot-smoking socialist in the White House. We could get a third Obama term after all.