Who's Bill This Time

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Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news: Hiking Up His Profile, Cyber Customs, Noisy Neighbors.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm legendary anchorman Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell.


KURTIS: And here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Oh, stop now. Stop. Stop. We have stuff to do. We don't have time for this because we got a great show for you today. We got Eric Schmidt. He's the executive chairman of Google. He's going to come on to answer our questions. Well, either that or we'll just have him share some of the deeply embarrassing personal details he knows about all of you.


SAGAL: We're also happy, once again, to welcome back the amazing Bill Kurtis to fill in for Carl. Carl is feeling a little under the weather, or so he says. All I can say is that he seems to suddenly vanish whenever there is a crisis in North Korea.


SAGAL: If you're out there doing your secret work for the government but want to take a moment to try to win our prize, Carl's voice on your home voicemail, give us a call. The number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. It's now time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

BRENT TIBBATTS: This is Brent Tibbatts from Mangilao, Guam.

SAGAL: You're calling from Guam?

TIBBATTS: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: I think you're our first Guamish caller.


SAGAL: Not only have I never been to Guam, I have no idea what Guam is like. What is Guam like?

TIBBATTS: Guam, it's a beautiful island with wonderful people. It's very, very tropical. I think we hit 88 to 90 degrees every day.


TIBBATTS: And no lower than about 77 at night, every night.

SAGAL: There you go, it sounds like paradise. Let me introduce you to our panel this week, Brent. First up, it's a man behind Esquire's politics blog and a contributor to Grantland, it's Charlie Pierce.



SAGAL: Next, it's one of the women behind the Washington Post's Reliable Source column, it's Roxanne Roberts.



SAGAL: And finally, it's the comedian and host of the Morning Amp on vocalo.org. It's the Prince of Bronzeville, Brian Babylon.


BRIAN BABYLON: Hey, Brent, how are you?

TIBBATTS: I'm fine, sir.

SAGAL: So Brent, as is our tradition, you'll start us off with Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis, right here, is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job, explain or identify two of them. Do that; you'll win our prize. Ready to go?


SAGAL: Your first quote comes from former disgraced South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.

KURTIS: I just want to acknowledge a God not just of second chances, but of third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth chances.


SAGAL: Mr. Sanford was speaking Tuesday night after he did what?

TIBBATTS: Wasn't he elected representative of South Carolina again?

SAGAL: Indeed, after he won an election.



SAGAL: It turns out the Appalachian Trail leads to Congress.


SAGAL: Mark Sanford, of course, is the governor of South Carolina who three years ago told his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail while romancing his Argentinean mistress. We assume, of course, that once Sanford takes his seat in Congress, he'll request a place on the Foreign Affairs Committee.



SAGAL: He hasn't even gotten his seat and he is paying off already.

BABYLON: So who do you think is going to be in the rom com when they remake this? Tom Hanks? This is just a rom com all written over it.

SAGAL: I don't think even Tom Hanks could make this guy less creepy.

PIERCE: Sleepless in Buenos Aries.

BABYLON: Yeah, something like that.


SAGAL: All right, so this is a guy who was a laughingstock, we know.


PIERCE: Because by God if you're a laughingstock, you end up here sooner or later.

SAGAL: Absolutely.


SAGAL: He lied. He snuck out. He cheated on his wife. And when confronted, he said, well, she's my soul mate. How is this possible?

PIERCE: And he was running under a trespassing rap from his old house.

BABYLON: You guys have never listened to Barry White, seriously.


BABYLON: He's in love.

SAGAL: Yeah, usually when you get caught having an affair, you say it was awful, I should never have done it, I made a terrible mistake. And this guy is like, no, I totally love her. This is my soul mate.


SAGAL: And people, like, said, aww.


BABYLON: Yeah. You know what, you can't - man, revisit Barry White lyrics.


BABYLON: I'm telling you, because it's between the lines.

KURTIS: We make love.



SAGAL: It all seems to make sense now.

PIERCE: I could die a happy man. I heard Bill Kurtis do Barry White.


SAGAL: All right, Brent, your next quote is from Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, observing what he called an historic moment Monday.

KURTIS: The Senate is actually going to vote for a bill.

SAGAL: That's right. They voted on a bill.


SAGAL: And the question is what the bill does. It's big news for people who like to shop on Amazon or Zippos. What is it?

TIBBATTS: I would say a sales tax on online shopping.

SAGAL: Exactly right, it's the internet sales tax bill.



SAGAL: So they can't pass anything. They can't pass a budget. They can't pass gun control and they can't pass anything. But what do they do pass? A sales tax on the internet. Finally, Congress has fulfilled its purpose and eliminated all the good things in our lives.


SAGAL: The idea, of course, is to give local businesses a competitive edge or at least equality with the internet. You know, why would you buy something down the street where you can save the tax by buying it online? But what they don't realize is that we are Americans. We will pay anything not to have to leave the house.


SAGAL: If I have to pick between paying 50 bucks in internet tax and putting on pants, hello Amazon.


BABYLON: So are we going to like dance around the question that everyone's asking?

SAGAL: Go for it.

BABYLON: Are we going to get - are they going to tax, you know, people's, you know, adult movies?


SAGAL: Brian.

ROBERTS: Wait, wait.

SAGAL: Brian, Brian, I've been...

ROBERTS: Wait, wait, that is your first thought?


SAGAL: I have been following this story all week and basically the set of everyone asking that question, it consists of you.


BABYLON: No one is asking that?

SAGAL: No, and as far as I know...

BABYLON: The most popular thing that people do on the internet, no one is asking. And if you guys - come on, they're going to - that's big money. That could close a fiscal deficit.



BABYLON: If we just tax internet adult movies, fiscal gap.


SAGAL: Let's assume the sales tax works and it drives people back from the internet to real stores. But we've all been shopping on the internet tax-free for so many years, how has it changed our habit? Will people, like, decide as they're sort of pushing their cart around the store, they don't really want the waffle maker. Just pick it up, throw it on the ground and keep going.


BABYLON: I mean the whole notion of like you're going to go to like the Geppetto Puppet Store and see like his new Pinocchio model and, like, oh, I can get that cheaper at Amazon. I don't think people are really doing that as much as they say.

SAGAL: Really?


PIERCE: We're buying many fewer puppets than we used to.

SAGAL: Exactly.


BABYLON: Yeah, people aren't doing that as much as they say.

SAGAL: Ever since the puppet bubble burst.



SAGAL: Brent, your last quote is a possibly alarmist headline from this week's news.

KURTIS: Plague of sex crazed monster grasshoppers to hit east coast.

SAGAL: That headline is from the Register. It refers to the fact that after 17 years, an enormous brood of what is back?

TIBBATTS: Locusts.

SAGAL: Close enough, cicadas. We'll call them locusts. That's good enough.

TIBBATTS: Cicadas.


SAGAL: Yes, cicadas. They're bugs.


SAGAL: Who knows. They're gross. They're big. They have big red eyes. The cicadas emerged by the billions on the east coast this week. They've been underground since 1996, which is why they all flew out wearing baggy jeans and...


SAGAL: ...making "Seinfeld" references and trying to log onto their AOL accounts.


SAGAL: The cicada, it's an amazing creature. It has a strange lifecycle. They mate like crazy. They disappear for 17 years.

PIERCE: It's like Mark Sanford.

SAGAL: And then they come back out.


SAGAL: Yeah, except Sanford is like, guys, it only takes about three years, then you can come out.

ROBERTS: How long do they live?

SAGAL: I don't know. Does - any entomologists in the room? I don't know. They live a few days...

BABYLON: Of course, there's entomologists in this room.

SAGAL: This is public radio.



SAGAL: Bill, how did Brent do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Brent from Guam is great, perfect score.

SAGAL: There you go. Well done.

KURTIS: Congratulations.


SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, Brent.

TIBBATTS: Thank you.

SAGAL: Take care.


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