Water Cooler — Independence Day 2013 Edition

Welcome to CNH’s Water Cooler, where fellow Hubsters commiserate and comment on current events, or whatever you like, while our boys Jon and Stephen are away.

While we of the Colbert News Hub always approach break weeks with bated breath, in the hopes that national/international news will not explode in our boys’ absence, we are continually proven to be correct in our apprehension. Egypt decided to have a big old coup, with the military ousting President Morsi and the entire country grappling to find a successor. To understand the complex socioeconomic and political underpinnings to these heady events, let this 12 year old Egyptian boy break it down for you.

What’s on your mind these fine break weeks? Wouldn’t we like to know! Read on and comment.

On the national front, we just experienced a pretty horrific 777 plane crash in San Francisco. While surely it was a harrowing ordeal for all involved, it’s a blessing that there are only 2 fatalities. A story like this would never make it on TCR, but it reminds us all the same about the precariousness of life (and technology).

Last week something caught my eye that I wanted to mention: it’s been interesting to see George Bush getting out of Texas and weighing in on current affairs. He has been in Africa recently doing some charity work, and the former president, ever reluctant to comment on the Obama administration, even dared to opine on soon-to-be-South-American-dweller Edward Snowden’s spying activities. With Bush becoming bored with painting his acrylics in Dallas, I wonder if he is thinking about dipping his toe into further media appearances. I know of a fantastic host who recently had another former president on his program with great success. You may recall his satirical stylings, Mr. Bush? I’ll just say his initials are STC.

Speaking of the Report, do you guys think we will be having a Colbchella this year? I have been asking various sources and no one seems to know. I would think if we were, we would have heard about it by now. It can be presumed that with last year’s event on the Intrepid being so elaborate, and Stephen having so much going on this year, the concert festival couldn’t materialize. I hope sponsorship wasn’t a problem. Hmmm. Well, at the very least, this year we got Paul McCartney. That can be considered to be entire Colbchella in and of itself.

Now it’s your turn, let us know your thoughts:

What stories do you think Stephen and/or Jon/John Oliver would cover right now? Was there anything that happened this week which prompted you think, “Stephen would have totally talked about that”?

Feel free also just to chat around the CNH office’s Water Cooler. Fandom is also friend-dom.

  • lockhart43

    Of all of the things said about Bush Jr, and however I feel about his presidency, I will always stand by the fact that he did a lot for Africa. That man made more trips to that continent than any other president before him, and allocated American funds for aid, as well as rally other countries to do the same. That said, I never miss an opportunity for good ol’ Dubya coverage on TDS or TCR, and I’m sure John or Stephen would have covered him at least once this week. I would also welcome any and all coverage of Egypt. The fact that that country can rise up, and an entire people can run into the streets and collectively say, “We are not happy with our government. We can do better.” is completely amazing to me. I’m not at all calling for that here, I’m just saying Americans could take notice of the Egyptian people’s devotion to their country and their want for a just and functioning government.

    In other watercooler news of my life, I have recently become a Whovian (that’s Doctor Who to you day-dwellers with your more important things to do), a Matt Smith/11th-Whovian to be exact. Which is, of course, terrible timing, as he’s leaving at the end of this year. So if any of you were wondering where I’ve been–well, for the past month and a half anyway–you can blame it on England and their penchant for quirky Time Lords. 🙂

    • Mr. Arkadin

      @lockhart43: You gave us up for the eleventh version of Dr. Who!? I have no idea Whovian you are anymore!

      • lockhart43

        @Mr. Arkadin: Oh, I was still here, in the shadows – I give up Stephen and the Hub for no one. But yeah, if we’re splitting hairs here, I gave you momentarily while I caught up on roughly 2 1/2 seasons of the Eleventh Doctor in a week and a half. Which is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. Some serious Doctor Who watching went on in my apartment. And if you witness Matt Smith in any one episode, you’ll understand why I had to ditch for a moment there. 😛

        Also, standout pun, my friend.

    • CN Helper

      @lockhart43: Hi! Congratulations on being a Who-vian, although I am not 100% on what fan obligations that entails. As long as you are happy! And as long as you can remain the awesome Hubster you are as well.

      I agree that, if little else, Bush did good things for Africa. It seemed to be the only unanimously positive thing the other ex-Presidents and President Obama could say during the recent Bush library dedication.

      I suppose the events in Egypt will eventually lead to a better country, but I find it frustrating that these emerging “democracies” in the middle east have such an all or nothing approach to their leadership. A good chunk of our US electorate doesn’t like the sitting President at any given term, but we grit our teeth (if we are the opposition) and deal with it. No one leader is going to represent all of Egypt in a perfectly balanced way, it’s just the person who can lead with the clearest vision.

      • lockhart43

        @CN Helper: RE: Whovian – frankly, I wouldn’t know to call myself that had the internets not told me. It’s just a namesake, I suppose, like a member of the Colbert Nation, or a Hubster, or a Trekkie, or any of the other fans of things that call themselves things that I can’t think of.

        And you do bring up a good point about Egypt’s “all or nothing” approach. In terms of launching a democracy (or whatever it is they are hoping for), they are still in the infancy stages. At some point, however many days or years it takes, the word ‘compromise’ will mean everything it’s supposed to mean to the country and it will stabilize. But it is very apparent that they were not happy with the person claiming to have the clearest vision, and I at least applaud their collectiveness in deciding that. They may not know exactly what they want–and who am I, or the American media, to tell them what it is they do want or need–but they certainly know what they do notwant.

      • lockhart43

        @CN Helper: Also, since I’m sure I’m not the only person lurking on the Hub to be a fan of Doctor Who, it’s very necessary for me to note that I’ve only just started liking it about three months ago. I am but a baby, ha.

    • Mr. Arkadin

      @lockhart43: Since puns are your true metier, I’m quite pleased you liked my pun. It’s like a D-leaguer getting a high five from “Magic” Johnson after a good pass. Thanks!

      • CN Helper

        @Mr. Arkadin: Puns AND similies. You do it all!

      • lockhart43

        @Mr. Arkadin: Did you essentially just refer to me as the “Magic Johnson of Pun Appreciation?” I don’t think that’s something that anyone ever thought could exist. And I like it!

    • Nikky

      @lockhart43: Hmm… There must be some kind if Whovian bug going around… 4 months ago I got sucked into the time vortex and haven’t seen the light of day since… Seriously, I’ve seen 12 years worth of Who. I think I need help. (TCR being on break is not helping…)

      • lockhart43

        @Nikky: Hi Nikky!! 12 years worth of Who? That is impressive! In watching 2 1/2 seasons in about 10 days, I can understand completely how you could go through 12 years worth in such a short time – it’s the kind of show you don’t want to stop watching.

  • Mr. Arkadin

    Hello CN! If memory serves, you went on a trip and/or vacation recently. Hope you had a good time and enjoyed yourself. By my figuring your the second hardest working person at the Hub. So you deserved it!
    Wow! I didn’t know Bush could go to non-North American countries without being charged with war crimes. Lucky him! Maybe they’ll keep him? Hell! I’d be willing to throw in Jeb at no extra charge! Your welcome Africa!
    One thing you didn’t mention that I would have loved for Stephen or Jon/John to have tackled was the forced landing of Evo Morales’ plane. All because of a rumor that Edward Snowden might be on board! A rumor! Not even an internet rumor! Amazing. And I don’t believe for a second that France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain acted on their own accord either. Yeah, I’m looking a you! Land of fried butter and the small penis you’ve nicknamed “Florida.” What a disgrace.
    CN: I disagree with your characterizing of what Snowden did as “spying activities.” You may not consider him a whistle-blower. (Which is fine.) But to me, “spying activities” implies that he did what he did for personal enrichment or for the benefit of another country. And I’ve seen no evidence of this. If anything, he seems to have given up a pretty good life (living in Hawaii, nice income, and a hottie girlfriend) for next to nothing.

    • CN Helper

      @Mr. Arkadin: Hi Mr. A! Things got screwed up in spectacular fashion and our trip got cancelled at the last minute. We have rescheduled though, so I will be away a little in August. Thanks for your kind words, sometimes I wonder if I over-do it here at all with my participation, but it seems the needs of the fandom are pretty relentless.

      I just thought since Bush is wading back into some semblance of relevancy, wouldn’t be funny to see him at the interview table with Stephen? It would be a nice bookend with the WHCD that “step-functioned” Stephen’s career.

      Evo Morales would be a good show topic; how did we manage to screw up our relationship with Bolivia? I don’t know if you remember Morales appearing on TDS, he seemed like such a sweet, noble man. Like only we could make him mad with our incompetence.

      Re: Snowden, I am not sure how I feel about him, to be honest. My understanding was that he took on the job with the explicit intent of reporting his findings to Assange/Wikileaks, which would be considered spying rather whistle blowing, if those circumstances were correct. Even if he doesn’t reap any immediate monetary rewards, spying is spying, and now he is a world wide name. I would classify Bradley Manning as more of a true whistleblower, and it’s amazing how hushed up his trial has been in the press.

      • Mr. Arkadin

        @CN Helper: I’m sorry to hear that your trip fell through. Hopefully it will be for the best and you’ll have a wonderful time in August.

        I’m still mad that “Stephen”/Stephen made that hillbilly grifter, Bill Clinton his first and only Twitter follow. So that last thing I want see is the even more worthless dubya defile TCR. I know that’s kind of over the top. But that’s how I roll. 😉

        I do remember Morales on TDS. He was great! Our sucky relationship with Bolivia predates the forced land of the plane though. Lots of CIA involvement and failed neo-liberal economics have lead to a fairly poor opinion of the US in that country, I’m sad to say.

        Where did you hear about Snowden spying for Assange/Wikileaks? I know he’s said he took the Booz Allen job with the purpose of leaking the info he got there. But I’ve never heard that he did it for Wikileaks. For one thing if he did, he stabbed them in that back by giving the info to Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian and the Washington Post! Also I don’t see how revealing proof of wrong doing or general shady dealings by the government (or a corporation) would be spying if it was done for Wikileaks anyway. It would still be whistle-blowing. IMHO.
        And finally on a more agreeable front: I’m sadden at the lack of MSM coverage of the Bradley Manning trial too. But not surprised.

      • Mr. Arkadin

        @CN Helper:
        “Puns AND similes. You do it all!”

        Ha! That’s hilarious!

  • Anais0509

    Just saying hi because I miss the Hub, I miss all you Hubsters and I miss fangirling, all because life keeps getting in my way.

    • CN Helper

      @Anais0509: Hi! Don’t worry about it. Drop by anytime. Even just to say hi.

    • lockhart43

      @Anais0509: Hi!!!

      Life can be a real burnout sometimes, for any one reason or another. The Hub’s always hear for a stop-by hello, though. 🙂

  • llama

    There was a really horrifying thing that happened in Brazil that I just saw today. I mean so barbaric that I can’t even talk about it. If you have read about it you know what I mean and if you haven’t, don’t read anything about a Brazilian soccer match. Seriously, I’m not even kidding.
    On a more pleasant note, though, I wouldn’t worry yet about Colbchella 013 not happening. It wasn’t until July 31st last year that Stephen announced it. If we still don’t hear anything by then it may be not happening this year, but we’ll see.

    • CN Helper

      @llama: Did hear about the Brazil incident. In the Middle Ages that kind of thing was presumably common. Nowadays? Let’s just say the State Dept. should warn against foreigners attending soccer games in Brazilian villages.

      I hope you are right about Colbchella. *shakes crystal ball* Will have to see.

    • Katt


      I am seriously concerned for all of the athletes competing at the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. On top of the soccer incident, a 20-year up and coming singer was shot on stage today. He later died in hospital.

  • Caroline

    On a lighter note, the Elliot Spitzer re-entering politics story has also broken during their break. All the other late night comedians are having a field day with it, of course. [Link]

    I’m sure the TCR writers are kicking themselves a little at being off during all this.

    • CN Helper

      @Caroline: And the Cleveland kidnapping victims released a video stating that they are doing well. Also good news.

  • John Turner

    The real story on the Eric Snowden situation is Julian Assange’s attempt to swallow him whole like a snake. There is no indication that Assange or Wikileaks was a planner or backer of Snowden’s one-man show, or that Snowden intended to operate through Wikileaks; yet Assange is managing to increasingly tie his name to Snowden’s in the press, talking as though he is and has always been a sponsor/protector of Snowden.

    Assange is the original Man In A Diplomatic Bottle of course, being the self-imposed prisoner of a modest four-room embassy in London for over a year now. He bivouacs in a modest square supply room, leeches three modest, square meals a day plus Internet off a modest foursquare ambassador and proclaims he is just as much a prisoner of conscience as the millions of human-rights-violation victims he once ardently championed. Not as often mentioned is that he attempted sleep-rape while couch surfing, which starts at bad manners and ends at a human-rights violation; nor do we as often hear that the one high-profile whistleblower who trusted Assange as a protector has yet to receive promised legal aid from this cotless wonder.

    Now that Snowden is incommunicado (a condition of his non-asylum in Russia is that he not do press or leak more data) Assange has crept in to claim Snowden’s handywork as his own, to cast his agile dislocatable jaws over Snowden’s fame and to make himself seem bigger by encompassing the Snowden mystique.

    This isn’t a wholly friendly act, kids. We cannot imagine The Assange entirely greeted Snowden’s feat as a validation of his data-leakage philosophy. Snowden forgot the most important part of Assange’s philosophy: attribute your leak to The Assange. So old-enough-to-be-his-creepy-uncle Assange is fixing that, and without a care for how his interference screws up Snowden’s tenuous chances at finding refuge.

    If Snowden fails to find his voice again by this September, it’s likely that Assange will own the man’s public persona entirely, and certainly damn Snowden’s attempts at asylum by making Snowden’s name toxic by association. The Assange Bump is straight to the stormdrain!

    Assange has struck before; remember when once-talked-out singer Steffi Germanotta dropped by the Ecuadoran embassy for a fistbump with Assange last October? How often to do you hear that name anymore? Another decent, hardworking twentysomething shot down on the verge of a career breakthrough….

    • CN Helper

      @John Turner: Thank you for your insights, John. When Snowden does find some place to hang his hat, it will be interesting to hear from him directly – after the initial release of data in Hong Kong, the media firestorm that followed (and Assange’s “interference,” as you term it) made the story more confusing and mysterious. And, as you reference, obscured the topics of government overreach that really should be at the heart of the matter.

      At some point Assange is going to have to face the music on his own legal troubles. I can’t imagine him holing himself up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London forever.

  • CN Helper

    Another funny/awesome thing happened today on the way to the Forum. Gretchen Carlson is leaving Fox & Friends!! Stephen’s character must be truly distraught at the moment, for he has admired her and Steve Doocy & the Brown Haired Guy Who’s Not Steve Doocy for many a year. And they in turn have gifted him with many years of comedic excellence. Elizabeth Hasselbeck is leaving The View and heading over to take Gretchen’s place. [Insert comedy here]

    • Clem

      @CN Helper: Elizabeth is going to be one of the friendly friends at Fox and Friends?! Comedy gold! Conan did a funny segment last night about Elizabeth leaving The View and it made me wonder how Stephen’s character would take the news. Oh, the fun he’ll have with this!

    • lockhart43

      @CN Helper: “Elizabeth Hasselbeck is leaving The View and heading over to take Gretchen’s place.”

      What?! I hadn’t heard about that. Oh, thank you, Comedy Gods, thank you ever so much! I was nervous that Fox & Friends would replace Carlson with someone knowledgeable. You know, someone young women could really look up to. But they made the right choice and went with Hasselbeck. The three of them together will make one mildly-functioning human being.