Last night, Jon Stewart tore apart the concept that "both sides" are to blame for the government shutdown, and placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans.
There was obviously only one story for us to cover tonight: the impending shutdown of the federal government, which is the subject of tonight's special presentation.Video below the fold.
For those just joining the story in progress, our government is going to shut down in 57 of your Earth minutes because House Republicans are refusing to fund the government, unless the rest of Congress delays implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, also known as the end of America as we know it for reasons no one is able to clearly explain. (audience cheering and applause)
But, you know what? Let's let the House Republicans try.REP. MARLIN STUTZMAN, R-IN (9/29/2013): This country was founded on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and consent of the governed. But Obamacare is based on limitless government.But you just... you're just throwing words together! "It's an unconstitutional takings of God-given American..." It sounds like a bullshitting of random patriotic buzzwordies. If it's unconstitutional... I didn't know it was unconstitutional, and I know how much you guys love the Constitution. Nobody loves the Constitution like you guys.
REP. CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS, R-WA (9/26/2013): We're leading on protecting hardworking Americans across this country that are feeling the overreach from the federal government.
REP. STEVE KING, R-IA (9/27/2013): I come to the floor, as many of us do, to speak about the intrusion into a God-given freedom called Obamacare. ... It is an unconstitutional takings of God-given American liberty.
REP. STEVE KING, R-IA (5/9/2012): The Constitution is the foundation...(audience laughter)
REP. GREG WALDEN, R-OR (9/25/2013): ... that great document, the Constitution ...
REP. JIM BRIDENSTINE, R-OK (9/25/2013): ... the supreme law of the land ...
REP. ROBERT WITTMAN, R-VA (9/9/2013): ... the greatest governing document the world's ever known ...
REP. TED YOHO, R-FL (3/4/2013): I carry a copy...
REP. PHIL GINGREY, R-GA (7/24/2013): Just look at your Constitution, which I keep in my pocket. (fumbles for it in pocket) Somewhere deep inside my pocket. But I guarantee it's in here.
(Jon fishes in pockets) Hold on, hold on... wait, that's my weed. I got a couple of rubbers here. I got... AHHH!!!! Son of a bitch! That's the monitor lizard I use in there to guard my copy of the Constitution. Think I got some band-aids in there... SON OF A BITCH!!! He bit me again!
But you know what? Perhaps we can look to the Constitution for a solution to this crisis. Let me get my... SON OF A BITCH!!! All right, here we go. All right, so in 2009, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. Were they allowed to do that? (flips through pocket Constitution) "Congress may determine the time...." Isn't there a cartoon that explains if they can do that?
Yes, I'm only a bill,
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill,
Well then I'm off to the White House where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills for the President to sign.
And if he signs me then I'll be a law!
You know what I just realized? One of those bills, I think had a harpoon in his chest! We should go back and look at that! One of those bills is like, I need a doctor.
All right, so apparently, they are allowed to do that. They're allowed to make laws, and the President is allowed to sign laws. And what do we do if those laws are unconstitutional? Well apparently, nine pre-cogs in magic robes got together, looked at the Affordable Care Act, and decided it was not unconstitutional. So everything appears to have been done literally by the book! This bill is now a law, vetted by the very system all these Republicans profess to love. But to hear the Republicans tell it, the whole thing could just be avoided if President Obama would meet them halfway.REP. DANA ROHRABACHER, R-CA (9/30/2013): They have refused to even consider the compromise that we have offered.No bridge! There's no divide! It's a fucking law!! What?! I don't understand this! Bridge-divide-trying time is over! (wild audience cheering and applause)
AMY KREMER, TEA PARTY EXPRESS (9/30/2013): They won't even negotiate with us on anything.
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TX (9/29/2013): What have the Democrats compromised on? Nothing.
REP. RAUL LABRADOR, R-ID (9/29/2013): Harry Reid will not negotiate with John Boehner. The President will not meet with John Boehner.
REP. JOHN DUNCAN, R-TN (9/30/2013): The President refuses to compromise on anything.
REP. SEAN DUFFY, R-WI (9/30/2013): You don't get resolution unless people sit at the table, work together, and try to bridge these divides.
Nobody's saying it's a good law, nobody's saying it's a bad law, but it's a law! Are you familiar with how the world works? Did you see the Giants game on Sunday? OK, they lost 31-7. And you know what the Giants didn't say after that game? "If you don't give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we will shut down the fucking NFL!" They didn't say that! (wild audience cheering and applause)
What I'm saying is, wouldn't it be nice if the United States Congress aspired to the maturity and problem-solving capacity of football players? (wild audience cheering and applause)
Man! This is utter insanity. The Republicans are going to get fried for this on the news.ALEX WITT (9/30/2013): In the tug of war over the budget and Obamacare, will the President or Republicans blink first?NO WE DON'T!!! I'm all for a pox on both their houses when appropriate, but this is not a game of chicken. This is when someone is driving to work, and there's a car coming directly at them in their lane. That's not a game of chicken. That's an asshole causing a head-on collision.
MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO (9/30/2013): Neither side looks like they're anywhere close to caving.
DAVID GREGORY (9/22/2013): Heading toward a government shutdown. Who will blink first?
WOLF BLITZER (9/30/2013): A lot of blame to go around in Washington.
CNN (9/30/2013): Neither side seemingly ready to give an inch.
TRACE GALLAGHER (9/30/2013): We've got a political game of chicken with a whole lot riding on it.
Let me see if I can put this in another way for House Republicans.WILLY WONKA: You get NOTHING! You LOSE! Good DAY, Sir!(wild audience cheering and applause)
And you know the Republicans will heed this advice, because he's a small business owner.
But perhaps nothing sums up the sheer ridiculousness of this situation, the degree to which the Republicans have left the plane of reason, more than this new talking point that they themselves rolled out this weekend.REP. TED POE, R-TX (9/30/2013): The President will negotiate with Iranians ... but the President and the Senate will not talk to the House."Err-berp, derr-berp, derr-derp."
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TX (9/28/2013): Have as much flexibility with the Republicans as you do with the Russians and Iranians.
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL, R-KY (9/30/2013): The President more than willing to negotiate with Iranians, I don't know why he wouldn't be willing to negotiate with us.
You're not helping yourself. If it turns out that President Barack Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent hardline unreasonable totalitarian mullahs in the world, but not with Republicans? Maybe he's not the problem. (wild audience cheering and applause) We'll be right back.
And Stephen had on Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. Here's both segments. Warning: MASSIVE spoiler alerts if you HAVEN'T seen the finale. There was also a surprise ending to Stephen's show.