Who's Carl This Time



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Carl Kasell reads three quotes from the week's news: Yes We Can Apologize; A Spire By Any Other Name; Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Sunday!

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CARL KASELL: 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.



Thank you, Carl. Thank you, everybody. Good to see you. I share your excitement. Colonel Chris Hadfield, the guitar playing, tweeting space station commander, will join us to play Not My Job. But before we begin, a quick word about Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto.


SAGAL: Last week, as we discussed at length, he admitted smoking crack. This week we learned he snorted coke while eating poutine.


SAGAL: True, and he held a press conference where he talked graphically about his sex life. Mayor Ford, speaking to you now, you've got to learn a lesson about dignity from politicians to your south. And that lesson is lie.


SAGAL: If someone asks you if you had sex with that woman, no, you were hiking the Appalachian Trail. If someone asks if you did cocaine while eating poutine, no, you did cocaine while eating a healthy salad.


SAGAL: It's not hard. However, if you're not Mayor Ford, we are interested in hearing from you. Give us a call, that's 1-888-WAIT-WAIT, that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!


SAGAL: Hi, who is this?

LAZAR: This is Karen Lazar from Oceanside, New York.

SAGAL: Oceanside, on Long Island.

LAZAR: That's correct.

SAGAL: Oh yes, I know a lot of people from Long Island. What do you do there?

LAZAR: I'm a retired educator.

SAGAL: Oh really?


SAGAL: And what did you teach?

LAZAR: I taught science, and I was an assistant principal and a science director for 33 years in the same school district that I went to as a kid.



SAGAL: So was this - that's impressive. Was this an elaborate plan of vengeance?

LAZAR: Absolutely.


SAGAL: That would make sense. Well Karen, welcome to the show.

LAZAR: Thank you.

SAGAL: Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First it's a correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning" and the host of "My Grandmother's Ravioli" on the Cooking Channel, it's Mo Rocca.


ROY BLOUNT, JR.: Hi Karen.

SAGAL: Next it's the woman behind the advice column "Ask Amy" and author of the memoir "The Mighty Queens of Freeville," it's Amy Dickinson.



SAGAL: Finally, it's humorist and author most recently of "Alphabetter Juice," it's Roy Blount Jr.


MO ROCCA: Hi Karen.

SAGAL: Karen, welcome to the show. You're going to start us off of course with Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell will re-create for you three quotations in the week's news. Your job, of course, explain or identify that. You ready to play?


SAGAL: Let's do it. Here's your first quote. It is from the president of these United States.

KASELL: The way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.

SAGAL: That was the President's way of saying oops about the implementation of what program?

LAZAR: Obamacare.

SAGAL: Yes indeed, the Affordable Care Act, very good.



SAGAL: Six weeks after Obamacare's launch, millions of people have had their health insurance canceled, and hardly anybody can sign up for new insurance on these exchanges. So the president came out, apologized, and announced a change in the law. It's such a screw up. At this point Americans are done hoping for Obama to bring change you can believe in. Now it's like look, just don't touch anything.


SAGAL: According to the latest numbers, fewer than 27,000 people across the country have signed up for Obamacare using the federal HealthCare.gov website. Somewhere, people who still use Microsoft Zunes said, hey, we've got them outnumbered.


ROCCA: Wait, so how many people have signed up, how many?

SAGAL: Around 27,000.

ROCCA: Geeze, so those people made it through the system. They're like IT geniuses.

SAGAL: They really are.

ROCCA: We should hire them to fix the website if they got through it.


ROCCA: I know it depends on, they said it depends on younger people registering, right, to make the program work.

SAGAL: Right.

ROCCA: And the state that had the most people sign up on the national plan is Florida.

SAGAL: It's not looking good.


JR.: Well, I live in Massachusetts, and we call it Romneycare, rolled out very slowly, as well. I just saw a graph to that effect. And nobody yelled and hollered, and I think there's no point in yelling and hollering at Romney. He doesn't - I don't think he hears.


ROCCA: Can I just say, I just - I wish that Roy was my country doctor.



ROCCA: Just listening to you right now, I want to imagine like a health care plan that, like, pays for you to come over and just...

JR.: You want to be sick.


DICKINSON: That involves Roy, yeah.

SAGAL: I bet Roy would be comforting even if he was delivering really bad news.

ROCCA: Roycare.

JR.: Really bad babies, you know. Yeah, we've got - well, your baby is kind of ugly, but he...


ROCCA: It still sounds great.

SAGAL: All right, all right Karen, here's your next quote.



DICKINSON: We forgot you.

ROCCA: I think we made Karen sick. I hope she's covered.

KASELL: Here we go, Karen. If it looks like an antenna, acts like an antenna, then guess what? It is an antenna.

SAGAL: That was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, complaining this week after New York's One World Trade Center was named what?

LAZAR: The tallest building in the United States.

SAGAL: You're exactly right, the tallest building in the country.



SAGAL: The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which now has to come off that list of Things You Didn't Think Actually Existed, has determined that the new One World Trade Center building in New York is taller than Chicago's Willis tower, it used to be the Sears Tower, and thus the tallest building in the country.

Well, you'd think this would be easy to resolve. Go off - go to the top of each building, right, throw a penny off, hit somebody in the head, see who it hurts more.


SAGAL: But at One World Trade Center, this is the problem, the antenna on top of the building is considered to be a, quote, sculptural element of the structure, so it counts for the height. Thus it beats the Sears Tower. Right. You know what? The sculptural antenna is the combover of architecture.


SAGAL: What are you hiding?

ROCCA: It's like wearing lifts, right.

JR.: My father was chairman of the building committee of the Decatur First Methodist Church.


JR.: When we built the church that turned out the cross was two feet higher than the Baptist church, but...

LAZAR: Oh, coincidence?

JR.: We didn't gloat.



ROCCA: You just said God likes us more, we're close to him.

JR.: Jesus wanted us to do it, and we did it.

SAGAL: All right, Karen, your last quote is an ominous warning from the postmaster general.

KASELL: Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides.


SAGAL: He was now referring to news that thanks to the Postal Service, some Amazon customers are now able to get mail when?

LAZAR: On Sundays.

SAGAL: On Sunday, or Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, as they say.



SAGAL: Amazon is teaming up with the struggling U.S. Postal Service to provide Sunday delivery of packages. It's amazing: A huge Internet company is coming in to save a government program, and it is not Obamacare.


SAGAL: The Postal Service has been hemorrhaging money for years, as Americans have stopped using stamps for anything than to lick LSD off of. And coming to save the Postal Service, maybe, is Amazon. The problem is, we don't send letters anymore, right, but we Americans simply cannot wait an extra day to get our eight-piece mustache grooming kit.


DICKINSON: Wait, for those of us that have a post office and don't have personal delivery, what happens to us?

SAGAL: I don't know. And frankly I don't care. Why do you live that way, anyway?


SAGAL: Well, when you order a package from Amazon, how does it come? Does it come to your house?

DICKINSON: It ends up going to the post office, where Donna(ph)...

SAGAL: Your local post lady.

JR.: Who is listening.

DICKINSON: Who's - she may be. But she will shake it and sniff it, and sometimes she'll open it.


DICKINSON: And she'll let me know, give me a call and tell me what's in there.

SAGAL: Really?

ROCCA: That's security.

DICKINSON: Security.

SAGAL: She'd say oh, yeah, Amy, some intimate feminine products arrived? Carl, how did Karen do on our quiz?

KASELL: Karen, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the voice on your voicemail or home answering machine.



SAGAL: Well done. Thank you so much.

LAZAR: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye, Karen.

LAZAR: Bye-bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.