The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 39

Juan Cole

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Mar 18, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Tonight Stephen welcomes the author of Engaging the Muslim World, Juan Cole
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      • Stephen: Tonight: Scientists dig up something unexpected and no, it's not a social life. Then: Wall Street CEOs get capital punishment, in that we give them more capital. And my guest Juan Cole says we should engage in a dialog with the Muslim world. Fine. But we do all the talking. Hey Bartlett's! Here's a quotation: Put me in your book or you're a jerk! This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: There is a simpler way to satisfy our raging lust for justice, and it's tonight's Word: Keeping Our Heads. We all know that companies like AIG are too big to fail, (Unlike global economy) we have to save them, but we still want someone to pay for what they've done. (Anyone have China's phone number?) Now I don't need to know the ins and outs of Wall Street when it's making me cash in ways that are inexplicable by he laws of man and God. (Repealing in mid 90s) But when my savings take a dip I want a pound of flesh and I want to know who to cut it out of! So Congress can legislate, the President can investigate, the press can fulminate, (Octomom can procreate) but I have a more timely and far more satisfying answer. I call it March madness, it's an NCAA style tournament. We take the CEOs the top 65 failed financial institutions and put them in a single elimination head to head bracket. It's understandable and it's exciting, plus like March Madness, it's an opportunity for heedless uninformed gambling, which I'm pretty sure those bankers can appreciate. (And depreciate)

        Instead of basketball, we need a contest more in keeping with the level headed mood of today's civic minded financial debate: hand to hand mortal combat in a thunderdome. (So, professional basketball?) Picture it! An arena packed with screaming taxpayers, in the center two CEOs, stripped naked as molerats, locked together in a rusty steel cage. Only one will emerge, the other…liquidated. (Winner drinks him as protein shake) Round one: Citigroup CEO Vikram J. Pandit versus Bank of America chairman Ken Lewis. Classic matchup, both these men clearly capable of dishing out punishment. (To your 401K) Now while Citigroup was taking 45 billion in taxpayer cash, Pandit received 38 million in pay, perks and stock. On the plus side, this means Citigroup still has at least one stockholder. (Two if you count Mr. Met) By comparison his opponent Ken Lewis is a lightweight. When Bank of America stock lost half its value, Lewis took only 10 million dollars. No wonder he was named banker of the year. (The year? 1930) How then do we pick a winner? Well, these are two great economic minds with unparalleled expertise in the minutia of international finance, so I say we make them whip each other with razor wire. (Still less painful than facing Jon Stewart)

        The winner, and I use the term loosely, will go up against whoever wins the match between former Merrill Lynch CEO/criminal redecorator John Thain and let's say the blade armed man-beast from 300. Human interest side note: they're cousins. Now eventually most of the contestants will be divested of their holdings, (They continue earning for 20 seconds after death) then the last man standing will be given all the bailout money, if he can defeat the mechanized Congressional moneysaurus. [Robosaurus] I believe we have some footage of the moneysaurus facing the CEO of Chrysler. [Robosaurus sets car on fire] You you'll notice, the airbags did not deploy. (But the golden parachute did) Now I know what you're thinking. ("Why is the Shamrock Shake seasonal?) You're thinking: Stephen, I want to continue this homicidal fury forever. (Hysteria: our only growth industry) But Stephen, your thunderdome idea will kill all the CEOs and there will be no one left to force through a man sized paper shredder. But I say we will never run out of scapegoats. Because if we focus on pitchforks and vengeance instead of the fundamental problems that got us here, soon we'll plenty of new criminal banks and irresponsible CEOs to start all over again, and we can cry: Off with their heads, and we'll never have to keep ours. (Keeping our heads)

        And that's the Word.

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