Who's Bill This Time Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news: Border Clash; Uber-stepping Boundaries; Do They Know It's Condescension Time At All.
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Who's Bill This Time

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Who's Bill This Time

Who's Bill This Time

Who's Bill This Time

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Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news: Border Clash; Uber-stepping Boundaries; Do They Know It's Condescension Time At All.

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm angelic anchorman Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago Peter Sagal.


Thank you Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Thank you. I share your excitement. We've got a great show for you today. Andy Cohen will be joining us later. He is...


SAGAL: Yes. He is the impresario behind the reality TV show empire on Bravo built around his "Real Housewives" series, or as we say here at NPR, real house persons.


SAGAL: Whatever gendered label you use, we want to hear from you. 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.

JESS ANAND: Hi, this is Jess from Ann Arbor.

SAGAL: Hey, Jess from Ann Arbor. How are you?

ANAND: I'm doing well. It's cold.


SAGAL: What do you do there?

ANAND: I'm a researcher at the University of Michigan.

SAGAL: What are you researching?

ANAND: I'm researching non-addictive opioid analgesics.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Wow. Oh my gosh.

O'ROURKE: That's great.

POUNDSTONE: This is on my bucket list.


SAGAL: I've never heard our panelists get this excited. PJ is trying to crawl down the phone line to get to you.

O'ROURKE: I am, I am.

ANAND: Well, we're trying to make boring drugs - like really boring ones.

SAGAL: So this is like a nonaddictive opioid. So these are your opioids that will work but won't be addicted?

ANAND: Yep, so it's Vicodin but boring.


SAGAL: But it'll - it'll make you feel goofy and fun?

ANAND: It'll make you not hurt, hopefully not even goofy or fun. I mean it when I say boring.

SAGAL: I like you less suddenly.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show Jess. Let me introduce you to our panel. First the syndicated advice columnist behind Ask Amy, I mean, Amy Dickinson.

ANAND: Hi, Amy.



SAGAL: Next, an author and humorist whose latest book is "The Baby Boom," it's PJ O'Rourke.


ANAND: Hello, PJ.

O'ROURKE: Hi, Jess.


SAGAL: And a comedian performing New Year's Eve at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona - go if you can - it's Paul Poundstone.



SAGAL: Jess, welcome to our show. You're going to start us off with Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job - correctly identify or explain two of them. Do that, you'll win our prize - scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine. You ready to play?

ANAND: I am.

SAGAL: OK. Your first quote this week is from Barack Obama. He was speaking just last year explaining why he could not do something.

KURTIS: I'm the President of United States, not the Emperor of the United States.

SAGAL: Well, turns out he decided being an Emperor, not so bad, as he announced this week that he was taking unilateral action about what?

ANAND: Immigration reform.

SAGAL: Yes indeed. Immigration reform.


SAGAL: Very good.


SAGAL: Yes, the grand area of bipartisan cooperation we have enjoyed for almost an entire week is now over.


POUNDSTONE: I didn't like it.

SAGAL: You didn't like it? Those were the good old days last Monday. Thursday night President Obama announced via quote, "presidential memoranda," changes to immigration policy allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to stay here and work to beef up border enforcement. And just to really mess with the Republicans, he changed the national anthem to "La Bamba."


O'ROURKE: I like the whole presidential memoranda stuff. Have you folks ever tried fixing things around your house by leaving little notes?



SAGAL: Really? Is that - it's not so much a dictatorial action.

O'ROURKE: No, it's like...

DICKINSON: It's a honey-do.

SAGAL: It's a honey-do.

O'ROURKE: It's a honey-do.

SAGAL: He like left a little note on the immigration policy saying guys, could you just fix this please? That's what he did. Now he followed up the announcement on Thursday with a speech in Las Vegas on Friday. That is, of course, a place known for good decisions.


SAGAL: And just to show he doesn't give a damn anymore, instead of having an array of citizens behind him in the podium, it was just a bunch of hookers and showgirls.


SAGAL: Now the Republicans, I should say, are furious. Mitch McConnell, the new Senate majority leader, says nothing that President Obama says in his speech will have the force of law because according to the Constitution, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.


O'ROURKE: That's right.

SAGAL: Sen. Coburn said there might be violence in reaction to this - a Republican riot. That means a crowd of well-dressed white people hiring Mexicans to turn over Mercedes and BMWs for them.


SAGAL: All right, very good. Here is your next quote Jess.

KURTIS: It's like Richard Nixon came back from the grave and is running a startup.

SAGAL: Now that was a tech blogger named John Gruber. He was joining the chorus condemning what car service company this week?

ANAND: Uber.

SAGAL: Yes, Uber.


SAGAL: I know what you're thinking all along, you're like Uber, Uber, isn't that kind of like a Nazi word? Yes. It turns out Uber, the company that sends a car right to you when, you know, you press a button on your phone, they had seen Google's slogan saying don't be evil and realized that left a niche for them.


SAGAL: This week though, one of the execs was caught promising to hire investigators to look into the private lives of journalists who were investigating their business practices. So now people - this is an amazing movement - people are denouncing Uber. They're saying they won't use it anymore. That's right, they're taking a stand by deleting an app from their phones.


O'ROURKE: Brave, brave Americans.

SAGAL: That's - move over Gandhi. Right? I mean this is...

O'ROURKE: Forget Washington at Valley Forge.

SAGAL: Right. It won't work. It won't work. Anybody who has used Uber is addicted to Uber. It is so convenient. If you called Uber and Bill Cosby was the driver, you'd get in.


DICKINSON: But, you know, investigating journalists as a threat - like what would they get?

SAGAL: Yeah, seriously.

DICKINSON: You know, really.

SAGAL: Well, Mr. Woodward, we found out that you have an overdue copy of a DVD of "All The President's Men."



SAGAL: They did this thing, they put it up on their website assuming people would find it amusing where they charted rides of glory, which is the Uber version of a walk of shame. They did this. What they did was...

POUNDSTONE: What do you mean? I don't get it.

SAGAL: You know what a walk of shame is, right?

DICKINSON: Like after you sleep with someone - I'm just saying, I read about it in a book - that sometimes after you've had like a one night stand - you know what that is, right?


O'ROURKE: Technically.

DICKINSON: Afterwards, you walk down the street like wearing yesterday's clothes and carrying your shoes. That's the walk of shame.

POUNDSTONE: So then how does Uber know about this?


SAGAL: The way that Uber - they calculate - this is what they do. They look at the number of rides that are a, taken late at night to someone's residence, and then the same person who called the car calls another car four to six hours later to go back to his or her own residence. The ride of glory.


POUNDSTONE: You know, I don't have sex so that will never happen to me.


SAGAL: Jess, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Yes, we know it's Christmas.

SAGAL: That was Rotel Pailey, the native of Liberia responding with some impatience to what fundraising song that was redone and released this week?

ANAND: Fundraising song that was redone and released this week?

SAGAL: Rereleased

ANAND: Rereleased.

SAGAL: It's a 30-year-old song - big deal 30 years ago. They released a new version of it this week.

ANAND: "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"?

SAGAL: No. That would be a rather bitter response to that cheerful song, now that you mention it.


SAGAL: I'll just give it to you. You may not know this. The song is called, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

ANAND: Oh, I remember that. It was so hard.



O'ROURKE: And it was like song for the benefit of a continent - and it's like a continent that has more Christians than any other continent in the world.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.

DICKINSON: Oh, really? I didn't know that.

SAGAL: Let me explain. Thirty years ago a bunch of giants of the music industry, none of whom you've heard of because you're too young, recorded a song called "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money to relieve or help relieve a famine in Africa. Just this month a new version was recorded, this time with artists you've never heard of because you're too old.


SAGAL: It's called "Do They Know It's Christmas 30" and not "Of Course They Know It's Christmas, They Have The Internet You Jackass."


SAGAL: Bono, you'll be pleased to know, is the only artist appearing in both versions of the song. It makes sense because U2 is basically the Ebola of bands.


SAGAL: You turn on your iTunes and it's like what happened? Oh no, I caught U2.


POUNDSTONE: Did they do the sequel song "Do They Know It's Black Friday?"


SAGAL: (Singing) Where can they shop?


SAGAL: Bill how did Jess do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Jess did OK. She's snowed in, so we're going to call her a winner.

SAGAL: That's very good Jess. Congratulations.

ANAND: Thank you.


O'ROURKE: Don't leave all the high out of that opiate.

SAGAL: Good luck in taking all the fun out of the trauma ward.


ANAND: Thank you Peter.


BAND AID: (Singing) Say a prayer to pray for the other ones at Christmastime. It's hard, but when you're having fun.

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