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On the December 5, 2012 episode of The Daily Show, the episode covers disability acts in the Senate, legalization of marijuana and the guest is Senator Simpson.
The episode begins with Jon Stewart discussing a UN treaty for rights for disabled people, which has come before the Senate. This bill is, in fact, based on the laws that the US has in place on the topic. A number of people came out in support of the treaty, Bob Dole and Senators John McCain and John Kerry for example (Kerry even got a good, if a bit harsh, joke on McCain that is definitely worth seeing). Despite this across the isle support, the treaty failed to pass. Which leads Stewart to introduce a new segment called “Please tell me this is rock bottom.” Stewart then shows clips explaining why Republicans voted against passing this. These include not wanting the give the UN power, the US already has a great rule, concerns over sovereignty, it will get in the way of parents deciding what is best for their kids and there is no enforcement mechanism. Stewart is, as usual when congress fails to pass something that seems like such an obvious good idea, especially when it will have little to no effect on the US itself.
The second segment shows Al Madrigal covering Robert Platshorn’s effort to get marijuana leadership. Platshorn is starting, Madrigal reports, with the elderly. He is touring the country giving talks about the benefits of marijuana to the senior community. These include a lot of pain management and a general improvement in quality of life. For the other side of the argument (the side they are mocking a bit more), Madrigal talks to Bishop Ron Allen who says that marijuana is a slippery slope to hell. Allen argues that marijuana opens a person up to addiction and effects things like memory, reason and motor control. Madrigal keeps the discussion on the elderly being allowed to take medical marijuana and says that all those symptoms just sound like the symptoms of being old. As usual in these segments, Madrigal goes back and forth between these two and eventually ends up asking a few of the elderly guests at one of the talks what they thinks. One gentleman says that he would take just about anything that would make his life more pleasant. Another says he is on enough pills and then Madrigal trades a few of them. They both take their swapped pills and the segment ends with them driving scooters with acid trippy filters on the cameras.
The guest for this episode is former Senator Allen Simpson. He is on the show to discuss his committee’s suggestion for avoiding the fiscal cliff, which they came up with two years ago. Simpson and Stewart discuss how this committee came up with this plan. Simpson says it was not easy since no one trusted each other, even within the same party. He even gives some interesting descriptions of why this is. He says that one of the reasons this plan worked was because it pissed everyone off, not just the Republicans or Democrats. He gives a very sketched description of it and it sounds like it consists of a little bit of everything. There is some budget cuts, some tax increases and some other things involved. It is pleasant discussion, even though Stewart does not seem to completely agree with him. It was not particularly interesting, but there might be some more information in the extended interview online.
Overall the episode was entertaining and I enjoyed Madrigal’s report.