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Last night, Jon Stewart talked about the potential budget deal with John Oliver.

So what is Congress up to?
CHARLIE ROSE (12/11/2013): Congress may be ready to call a truce in the budget wars.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE (12/11/2013): A bipartisan budget deal has been reached to avoid another government shutdown.

(Jon left speechless at the news)

Deal?  Deal??  What type of witchcraft is this?  Deal!  The elders have spoken of such wonders, but I thought, like the Yeti, it belonged to legend.  If this be true, it be incredible.  May it be?  Could it is?

KATE BOLDUAN (12/11/2013): We have a deal!
(Handel's "Hallelujah" plays)

Just, that's it?  Just two?  Do we have any other?

CHUCK TODD (12/11/2013): Well, almost a Hallelujah moment here, right?  It's not the grand bargain many were hoping for.
I knew it!  So the "Hallelujah" for this moment is not of the Handel variety, more of the Leonard Cohen variety.  The melancholy version they play at benefit concerts, or when Shrek's wife decides to become human, so she goes back to the King, who's played by Lithgow, 3rd Rock, very sad story, and then the donkey was beside himself.

Anyway, my point is this.  The budget compromise is that kind of melancholy "Hallelujah".  But still good.

DANA BASH (12/10/2013): Any time we are talking about compromise in Washington is a breath of fresh air ... not used to using that C-word, compromise.
(shocked audience laughter)

Yes, I can't believe those cunt-punters C-worded.  (audience laughter)  And I hope my mother isn't watching.

So how did this deal go down?

NANCY CORDES (12/11/2013): Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray announced they had reached a deal Tuesday, after two months of negotiations.
Oh my God, these two members of Congress who did the deal are literal visual analogs for how the two sides cannot see eye to eye!  They are a life-size bar graph of the fiscal distance between the parties!

(audience laughter and cheering)

And, quite frankly, if I may be so bold, the two of them look like all my prom pictures in reverse.

So the important thing is... (audience aaaaaahs)  Ah, the Jew-fro.  Those were the days.

So let's hear it.  What does this deal they did, do?

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WI (12/10/2013): This bill reduces the deficit by $23 billion dollars.  And it does not raise taxes.  And it cuts spending in a smarter way.

NANCY CORDES, CBS (12/11/2013): The deal sets government funding levels at just over $1 trillion dollars for 2014 and 2015, right between what Democrats and Republicans wanted.

So it took you guys three years and a government shutdown to come up with, "Uh, I dunno, why don't we split the difference?"

But even this most basic of compromises is too much for some.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FL (12/10/2013): I don't know the details of it, so I'll reserve judgment until we read it.  I can tell you my view based on press reporting. ... My sense is, of what I read, is that this budget is gonna fail to accomplish those goals.  It's gonna make it harder for Americans to achieve the American dream basically.
"Look, I am going to be honest with you.  I have not read this thing, but I can tell you this.  It is destroying America.  I'm gonna reserve my judgment, but it fucking sucks."

When was the last time we even had a budget?

CHARLIE ROSE (12/11/2013): The last time Congress passed an actual budget was April 29, 2009.  That was 1,687 days ago.  Back then, a gallon of gas cost a little more than $2 dollars.  President Obama had been in office for just 100 days.
All right there, it's been a while, but easy on the nostalgia, friend.  It was four years ago, not forty.

"Jump in the wayback machine with me as we head for 20-ought-9!  Taylor Swift topped the charts... as she still does, but with a different album.  Americans flocked by the millions to see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, unlike this year, when millions flock to see him in The Wolverine."  (audience laughter)

So some people aren't happy, but that's because it's been so long we've forgotten what compromise is supposed to feel like.

NANCY CORDES (12/11/2013): Many Senate Democrats are weighing in to say they don't think the deal's perfect, but they can live with it.
Exactly!  It's a compromise.  There's no victory, there's no sense of glory, it's more like being in a bar at last call.  The lights come on, you look at each other, and go, well, if either of us could do any better, we wouldn't be here.  So let's go fuck behind a Sonic.  (audience laughter)  I thought in that laugh, there was a bit of a rueful note.
Video below the fold.

Jason Jones then portrayed the budget battle as yet another high stakes action movie.
Meanwhile, Stephen looked at Fox News's latest outrage in their War on Christmas.
He then looked at the news going apeshit over the Raul Castro handshake, and the sign language scandal at Nelson Mandela's memorial service.
He then mocked Mike Huckabee's Christmas song parody about Obamacare.
Stephen talked with writer Elizabeth Gilbert, and Jon talked with scholar Reza Aslan, which went long.  Here's the unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2

Originally posted to BruinKid on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:05 AM PST.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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