'The Daily Show' recap: The Sequester's Effects, Ricin Attack, and Jon Hamm

By Tori Kronz,

The April 30, 2013 episode of The Daily Show focuses on the effects of the sequester, the investigation into the Ricin attacks, and Mad Men with Jon Hamm.

The episode opens with Jon Stewart defining Congress as a group of people who fail to come up with a solution when something is eating them from the bottom up (his version is much funnier, but I figured the curses were less than appropriate here). Stewart was, of course, referring to Congress’ creation of the sequester problem and their inability to deal with it. There was news last week, though, about Congress finally doing something to lessen the effects of the sequester. They passed a piece of legislation that would allow more fluidity in the aviation budget so that there could be more air traffic controllers. Stewart then reveals that the reason this passed so quickly was because the members of Congress were on their way home for a break. It was passed unbelievably quickly. Stewart plays one clip where a news reporter stated that some of the parts of the legislation were hand written. There was also some investigation into why there were all these delays at the airports and one investigator complained that they were not informed of this result of the sequester. The problem with that, Stewart reveals, is that everyone said it would happen, even the Secretary of Transportation.

The second part of this coverage was a report from Aasif Mandvi. The news has been reporting, Mandvi demonstrated through the usual use of news clips, that the sequester has had little effect on people. They are claiming that there was massive hype, but no real problems. The rest of report was Mandvi talking to people who disagreed. His first stop is with Joel Berg, the NYC Coalition Against Hunger Executive Director. He tells Mandvi that people are not seeing the effects because most of the effects are on the poor. The funding that normally went to help the poor has been cut and no one notices because people tend not to notice the poor. Mandvi also spoke with Jeffrey Vacirca MD, FACP at North Shore Hematology and Oncology Associates. Vacirca told Mandvi that they are unable to treat 5,000 patients that they could treat before the sequester. He said that this cut will actually cost the tax payers $1.6 billion by having to shift these patients’ care. Mandvi’s final stop was Steven Nolder, Federal Public Defender, Southern District Ohio. Nolder did not have to fire anyone, because he chose to fire himself. He said it was the only viable option.

The second segment was a shorter one and was about the investigation into the Ricin attack on President Barak Obama and a Senate member. Stewart says that his favorite sentence ever was said during the reporting, “Authorities have switched their focus from the Elvis Impersonator to a karate instructor.” The first suspect, Paul Kevin Kurtis, is an Elvis impersonator. He was cleared of all charges and now a politician form where Kurtis lives is suspected. Stewart reports that it is suspected that Kurtis was framed by this politician because Kurtis was taking his campaign bumper stickers off of cars. Stewart also played a number of clips of Kurtis playing up his 15 minutes of fame and it was horrendously awkward.

The guest on this episode is Jon Hamm promoting Mad Men. They discuss how they kept one character’s appearance secret and that the actress who played her could not tell anyone she was going to be on the show. Stewart asked how they managed to keep it secret, while the CIA cannot even pull that off. Hamm’s reply was that the cast of Mad frequent far fewer Venezuelan hookers.

Hamm also shared that he will be going to India to shoot a film with Aasif Mandvi. The film is based on a true story called Million Dollar Arm where an American goes to find cricket players to bring to America to play baseball.

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