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In the February 7, 2013 episode of The Daily Show, the topics include government secrecy, military spending, changes in America and the guest, Neil Barofsky.
The episode began with Jon Stewart discussing President Barack Obama’s administration agreeing to release the documents concerning drone strikes to congress. Of course, Congress members cannot copy or take notes on these documents or discuss them outside of congress. Stewart then moved on to discuss what would happen if an agreement is not made at the next fiscal cliff. He asked if, in order to avoid these cuts, Congress cannot go through the budget with a fine tooth comb to find reasonable and less draconian cuts.
Stewart then introduced Al Madrigal’s field report on congress attempting to buy 300 more tanks for $3 billion. The report was set up like many of the Daily Show field reports where Madrigal talked to two individuals on either side. The first, on the side of getting the tanks was Alan Caruba. Caruba argued that the tanks were necessary in case we need them. Madrigal asked him where we might need to use them in the future. Caruba’s suggestion was the entire continent of Africa, since there are a lot of Muslims there and where there are a lot of Muslims there are a lot of problems. Madrigal then listed a number of places with a large Muslim population where we have not fought.
The second person Madrigal interviewed, against the tanks, was retired Major General Paul Eaton. Eaton, along with other top army officials, do not see the need for tanks. There is a very low probability of tank warfare and there are already a number of unused tanks in Nevada. Eaton said the new tanks were seen as a jobs program, but Caruba maintained it was a defense program. Eaton revealed at the end that the way of keeping costs down was to sell tanks and other items to allies, including a number of Muslim countries. This fact threw Caruba, but after first saying it should not happen (when he thought it was not) he changed his mind (when he found out it was). Madrigal ends the segment with an over the top infomercial style commercial selling the tanks. He ran over a blender and some fruit at one point to prove it could juice.
The second segment in this episode was about changes coming to America. The main change was that monopoly held a vote to decide what would replace the iron in their pieces. The cat won, which Stewart blamed on the internet’s obsession with cats. He believed the robot was the obvious choice. Stewart reminded the audience that other monopoly versions already have different pieces. The second change is the United States Postal Service stopping Saturday delivery. It is a choice that will save the Postal Service around $2 billion. The Post Master General explained that if people were still using the mail to pay bills instead of the internet there would be no concern. The final example, this time of something staying the same, was that the Boy Scouts have decided to postpone their stance on gay members for further consideration.
The guest for this episode was Neil Barofsky promoting Bailout: How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street. Stewart began the interview by telling Barofsky that Bailout was funny unlike all the other books on the topic. Stewart was upset that he had to read all the other ones first. The rest of the interview was spent talking about what Barofsky’s experience with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The episode was decently interesting.
None of the stories really caught my fancy, but it was not boring. The interview was probably the most interesting part.