The Colbert Report

Season 4 Episode 131

Joseph Stiglitz

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Oct 14, 2008 on Comedy Central
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Joseph Stiglitz
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Tonight Stephen welcomes Nobel Prize wined economist and co-author of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict,, Joseph Stiglitz.
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      • Stephen: Tonight: Critics are wondering: What happened to the old John McCain. Wait a minute. There's an older John McCain? Then: Newsweek publishes an unflattering picture of Sarah Palin. Luckily, Joe Sixpack is always wearing beer goggles. And my guest is two time Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Ladies, control yourselves. They weren't booing at Sarah Palin at that hockey game, the crowd was just getting into the Halloween spirit. Boooooo! This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: So what has happened to John McCain? I think I have the answer, and it brings us to tonight's Word: P.O.W. Folks, the change that has overcome John McCain has become the biggest mystery in America today, next to how Alan Greenspan landed Andrea Mitchell. But McCain gave us a clue last week in Pennsylvania. He was laying out his economic agenda for his fellow Americans when he said this:

        [Video: John McCain: Across this country, this is the agenda I've set before my fellow prisoners….]

        Stephen: Did you hear that? It's subtle. Jimmy, play it again.

        [Video: John McCain: …my fellow prisoners…]

        Stephen: Now, some people think this was just some slip of the tongue, or even a senior moment, like when you forget the name of the guy sitting next to you.

        [Video: John McCain: (pointing at Barack Obama) That one.]

        Stephen: But, no I think this was a signal. McCain is telling us once again he is a prisoner. But what prison is it? (Abu Grumpy?) Now he could be a prisoner of the economy. This was supposed to be an election decided on foreign policy, and he is an expert on that stuff. (When Lieberman whispers in his ear) But while McCain was flying high on the success of the surge, the economy shot him down. (Unfortunately, deregulated parachute industry) Or maybe, maybe folks, he's a prisoner of his own reputation. Being a "maverick" mean he has to take huge risks, like choosing an unknown woman for VP and suspending his campaign. (And throwing stones from his seven glass houses) Now, for that matter, he might even be a prisoner of Sarah Palin. Listen to what she recently let slip about how she sees a McCain & Palin administration.

        [Video: Sarah Palin: That's exactly what we're going to do in a Palin & McCain administration.]

        StephenM: Now that's not her fault. When she heard she'd get to be in the second most powerful office in the land, she assumed it would be President. (#1: Treasury Secretary) Or maybe, maybe he's a prisoner of his own Machiavellian campaign staff, who are forcing him to say and do things he doesn't believe. (We're not really his "friends"?) So, how could he escape from them? (Stop paying them?) Well, whoever is imprisoning McCain, we have to bust him loose. We'll create a crack squad of Congressional colleagues who worked with the old John McCain. (The rest of the Keating Five?) They'll be like the A-Team of people who remember what McCain used to be like. (The "Back in the day" Team) I'm talking about commandos like Ted "Unbaked Sourdough" Kennedy.

        [Video: Ted Kennedy: Put the wood to them!]

        Stephen: John "Used Teabag Face" Kerry!

        [Video: John Kerry: I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty.]

        Stephen: Lindsey "Fireball" Graham!

        [Video: Lindsey Graham: He has signed the empire.]

        Stephen: And Russ "What's known as Feingold-Webb-Tester Number 3-9-7-9" Feingold!

        [Video: Russ Feingold: With regard as what's known as Feingold-Webb-Tester number 3979…]

        Stephen: And there's only one man who can unite men of such diverse political backgrounds, one man who could lead this band of rogues to break out the old John McCain! Unfortunately it's the old John McCain. Ohh, what are the odds? Now that I think of it, having a prisoner President isn't such a bad idea (Could rebuild economy out of soap) after all, listen to closely to what John McCain said.

        [Video: John McCain: …my fellow prisoners…]

        Stephen: My fellow prisoners. He's saying we're all prisoners now, and maybe we are. (Actually, prisoners get more exercise) Maybe we're prisoners of the money we lost, prisoners of the war we're winning, prisoners of the energy we consume and prisoners of our worst fears. (Plus, the two million prisoners of prison) So, if that's the case, why shouldn't a prisoner lead us? Because whether McCain or Obama wins, after the events of the last eight years, there is no denying the next President will be a P.O.W. (Prisoner of W.)

        And that's the Word.

      • Stephen Colbert: Are you saying you can't make money of the war? Because I've got some Halliburton stocks to sell you.
        Joseph Stiglitz: Oh, a lot of people have made money of the war! The contractors... you know one of the things they've been doing is shipping sand from Kuwait into Iraq.
        Stephen Colbert: There is a sand shortage in Iraq?
        Joseph Stiglitz: Ah, it's evidently, ah, our contractors have figured out another way of making money by shipping sand into Iraq. The real story of this is....
        Stephen Colbert: Wow, that's like shipping bullsh*t to Washington!

      • John McCain(news clips): (First clip from March 5, 2008) I pledged at that time and I pledge again a respectful campaign. A respectful campaign based on the issues. (Second clip from April 24, 2008) Now people say negative ads raise numbers. They may but do we have to go to the lowest common denominator?
        Stephen Colbert: No, we don't! McCain's ads prove we can stay below it.

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