The new edition of Charlie Hebdo hit the newsstands today in France. With a run of 3 million copies, instead of their usual 50-60,000, it sold out immediately. Another 2 million are being rushed to press to take advantage of the increased interest in the satirical publication.

The picture above is the cover of the new issue. The media tells us that it’s a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed. Really? How do you know? All I see is a someone racist depiction of a guy wearing a turban (that looks suspiciously like a set of testicles with a headless limp penis dangling from it) shedding a tear, holding a sign that says “Je Suis Charlie.”

I was going to ask my friend Maysoon Zayid that question when she joined me during today’s second hour of the show – but she beat me to the punch, herself asking “Why is anyone claiming that’s Mohammed? No one has seen a picture of him!”

Maysoon is a Palestinian-American Muslim and a good friend of this American Atheist-Jew. And we both agree that the circus surrounding the terrorist act in which two French assholes shot and killed a bunch of human beings in Paris last week is even more absurd than the outrage over a cartoon.

From the solidarity march in which the “40 world leaders” were celebrated for showing up (rather than ridiculed for the human rights violations many of them commit on a daily basis), to the TV talking heads practice of identifying the humans based on the religious and/or racial groups that the individuals may or may not belong to is beyond reason.

My favorite example of the absurdity of what we’re living through was illustrated by this sad, but funny and true bit, The Condemnologists, from The Daily Show:

It’s been a while since Maysoon has been on the show, so we had a lot of catching up to do.

So, in addition to the Charlie Hebdo attack and the related issues, we also caught up on her quest to land a role on General Hospital (and the recent plot twists), her recent trip to the Middle East, and her dismay at the mothers of “differently-abled” kids in an online support group she formed to help them.

In case you didn’t know, Maysoon Zayid has Cerebral Palsy, brought on by the mistakes of a drunk doctor in the delivery room. She talked about living with CP in her recent Ted Talk, that all the mothers in that support group should really watch…and so should everyone else!

If you’re in NY, go see her perform at the Comic Strip Live this Sunday night with Dean Obeidallah and a bunch of others…

 Susie Madrak joined me in the first hour, as she does each Wednesday morning. Although we started off by talking about Chris Christie’s latest problems, we drifted on to other topics as we tend to do. Somehow, we got on the subject of the IRS, who made an appearance in today’s News Notes:

• IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warned Tuesday that, facing a new round of budget cuts, the agency plans to delay IT improvements, audit fewer taxpayers and send out refunds more slowly. Oh – and the IRS still might have to shut down for two days this year 

Despite that, instead of targeting the tax-dodging billionaires and corporations, the IRS is going after our friend Susie and the few measly dollars she’s able to make writing at her blog and acting as Crooks & Liars managing editor.

She’s currently running a fundraiser over at her Suburban Guerrilla blog, so please help out if you can.

And finally, Jon Stewart or someone on his staff must be listening to the show, as yesterday I was telling you about the empty suit that is Florida’s junior senator Marco Rubio, and voila, Rubio was on his show last night. His appearance followed an epic takedown of the state that I call FloriDUH for good reason!


Tomorrow, Howie Klein returns for another edition of The Steve Israel Hour, and author/columnist Thomas Frank joins in one more time before going into book-writing mode for the next eight months or so… so join me here, radio or not!