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tv   The Colbert Report  Comedy Central  May 1, 2012 11:30pm-12:00am PDT

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>> stewart: that's our show. i guess i will do it for you, mr. president. thank you, field team 6, thank you cia intelligence gatherers and than captioning sponsored by comedy central captioned by media access group at wgbh >> stephen: tonight, have attack ads gone too far? some say yes while others hate america. (laughter) then would got approve of cutting aid to the poor? of course! it will just make more meek to
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inherit the earth. and my guest carne ross says democracy does not work anymore. clearly, he's never seen "american idol." (laughter) the t.s.a. says explosives may be hidden in fake breasts. be on the lookout for mullah achmed mo-homina homina homina homina. (laughter) this is "the colbert report." (cheers and applause) captioning sponsored by comedy central ( theme song playing ) ( cheers and applause ) (audience chanting "stephen") (cheers and applause) >> dave: thank you, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the "report."
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thank you so much. folks, you know, the general election hasn't even officially kicked off but today barack obama used taxpayer dollars to campaign in a key swing state-- afghanistan. (laughter) we've been fighting there for so long i believe they now get three electoral votes. (laughter) obama first addressed the troops at bagram air base then met with hamid karzai to sign a security agreement which lasts through 2024. so to those who had 23 years in the afghan war pool-- you win? (laughter) folks, this whole trip is just a transparent attempt by obama to remind voters that he is the president and mitt romney is not. (laughter) didn't even invite him. i'm not surprised. obama is running such an ugly campaign, folks, he is
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determined to turn this whole election into some sort of competition. worst of all, yesterday obama cynically used the one-year anniversary of his ordering the hit on bin laden to order a hit on mitt romney with this slick campaign ad. first he uses bill clinton to praise obama's judgment as commander-in-chief then points out that mitt romney criticized obama for vowing to strike al qaeda targets inside pakistan if necessary. finally turning it all over to obama hatchet man wolf blitzer. >> it's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. he was referring to the hunt for osama bin laden. >> stephen: okay, maybe he wouldn't have taken out bin laden but romney has proven he will spend billions of dollars to remove another guy. (laughter) >> i justedly personally that boasting he killed bin laden is
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unpresidential. i'm not alone. >> this is not just spiking the football, this is shoving it down the romney campaign's vote. obama says he's not going to spike the ball but it looks like he's doing an end zone dance. >> president obama bragging about the bin laden raid. is this spiking the football? >> the president is spiking the ball. >> president obama is taking another opportunity to spike the bin laden football. >> he is spiking the football. >> stephen: exactly. (laughter) presidents don't spike the football. you do an end zone dance on an aircraft carrier even if you never found the football! (cheers and applause) i believe that was aboard the u.s.s. "humility." (laughter) even i have to say in yesterday's press conference when confronted with his attack on romney's record obama did make a good point. >> i just recommend that everybody take a look at people's previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into
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pakistan and take out bin laden. i assume people meant what they said when they said it. that's been at least my practice >> stephen: there you go. the president means what he said. but be careful if you disagree with the commander-in-chief he might seine you to the prison at gitmo he said he would close. (laughter) now, folks, on a completely different subject, obama's also waging a war on religion. he hasn't celebrated a single religious holiday since easter. oh, sure, he'll throw together an egg roll on the white house lawn but where was he on the celebration of april 24, the feast day of st. fidelis of singh mar-ingen who was beaten to death by calvinists in 1622 mo who also cut off his left leg. traditionally, you serve leg. (audience reacts) well, folks, don't talk to me
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about separation of church and state. this is a christian nation. our money says "in god we trust." our declaration of independence name-checks the creator and when congress passes a law, it is nothing short of a miracle. (laughter) so we have to be guided by christian principles. and yet president obama is attacking the tse credit and deeply christian republican house budget written by my fellow catholic, congressman and reagan hair reenactor paul ryan. (laughter) just because the republican plan gets 62% of its cut-- $3.3 trillion-- from low-income programs while preserving tax cuts for the wealthy, obama blasted ryan. >> >> this congressional republican budget is a trojan horse. disguised as deficit reduction plan it is an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. it's thinly veiled social darwinisim. >> stephen: how dare you, sir?
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these are republicans. it is thinly-vailed social creationism. (cheers and applause) uh-uh. uh-uh. uh-uh. and no one legislates in a more christian way than congressman paul ryan. >> our present state is central to how they conduct themselves. in public and in private. the preferential option for the poor which is one of the primary tenets of the catholic social teaching means don't keep people poor, don't make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck in their station in life. >> stephen: yes! helping the poor keeps them stuck in poverty. as jesus said "tough love thy neighbor as thyself. get your own loves and officials." (laughter) now, sadly, president obama isn't the only one waging a war on the catholic church. so is the catholic church. because the u.s. conference of catholic bishops fired off a letter to ryan saying "a just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to the poor
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and vulnerable persons. it requires shared sacrifice by all." shared sacrifice? that's just bishop code for raising taxes on the wealthy. how dare they? (laughter) jesus himself said "render unto cesar what is cesar's and hide in the cayman what is is the caymans" (laughter) but ryan was not daunted by the bishop's attack. he took his ministry to the preeminent catholic university, georgetown. >> i suppose there are that there are some catholics who for a long time thought that they had a monopoly of sorts. not exactly on heaven, but on the social teaching of our church. >> stephen: sadly car, thol schism is full of these people who think they have a monopoly on interpreting the social teaching. they're called bishops. (laughter) but these guys don't count because the catholic church isn't known for its centralized
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authority (laughter) catholicism is more of a dialogue. everybody tosses in their two cents and decides what the bible means for themselves. i can't remember who started that. it was either pope martin luther or pope henry vii. (laughter) of course, technically, technically, a catholic can't say the bishops are wrong except the holy father. so forget about all this talk of paul ryan being vice president. i say we make him vice pope. now, when we return i will talk to a man who may oppose paul ryan's self-appointment to the vatican. georgetown university's father thomas reese.
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(cheers and applause) welcome back, everybody. thank you very much. folks, before the break we were discussing the brave fiscal ministry of congressman paul ryan who says his deep budget cuts to programs for the poor are in concordance with catholic doctrine. now, in response, the u.s. conference of catholic bishops replied-- and i hope i'm pronouncing my latin correctly-- bull (bleep) (laughter) plus, the jesuits in the georgetown mafia sent ryan a nasty letter saying "your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher ayn
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rand rather than the gospel of jesus christ. (audience reacts) rand, of course, believed that the only rational behavior is to pursue your own selfish interests. a belief shared by rand admirers like ron paul, clarence thomas, and scrooge mcduck. wlaf laugh rye qlan has defended himself saying his reputation as an ayn rand follower was simply an "urban legend." exactly! him admiring rand is like big foot-- if big foot had spoken at a celebration of ayn rand's 100th birthday and said this: >> i grew up reading ayn rand... (laughter) ... and it taught me quite a bit about who i am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. it inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. (laughter) the reason i got involved in public service by and large, if i had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be ayn rand. (cheers and applause) >> stephen: now, now folks, i
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know you think you heard that, but it was just an urban legend. it was probably swamp gas reflecting off a weather balloon and venus was right... it's in the "x files." the truth is out there. (laughter) and the priest who wrote that nasty letter to ryan has a lot to answer for. here to answer for it, please welcome from georgetown university father thomas reese. father reese, thank you so much for coming. (cheers and applause) father reese, i don't get your problem or the u.s. conference of catholic bishops problems with ryan's budget. jesus said "whatever you do for the least of my brothers that you do unto me." and all ryan is suggest is that we do the least we can. (laughter) it's paraphrasing but it's basic idea. >> i think that's the problem. i mean, jesus also said that we would be judged by whether we fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked. and this budget doesn't do it.
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we believe that a budget is a moral document. it represents the values of a country, of a nation, and the values in this budget are that we would rather cut taxes for the rich than help the poor and that's simply unacceptable. >> stephen: okay. now jesus did say... (cheers and applause) jesus did say it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. but he said nothing about job creators. (laughter) and that's what ryan's talking about here. ryan is talking about keeping the money with the wealthiest americans so they can create jobs. it's called trickle-down economics, all right? so you guys in the church, you trickle down all the time. you trickle that holy water on. (laughter) you're allowed to do it and ryan's not. what... do you not understand
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trickle down. >> i think in the gospel it's very clear that jesus reached out and helped the poor, helped the sick and this is what he calls us to do as his disciples. we're to show one another that we love one another and follow christ in caring for the sick, caring for the poor and giving people a hand up so that they can do these things. >> stephen: he said "love thy neighbor," okay? but i've got some pretty well-off neighbors. so if i let them keep their tax cuts aren't i loving my neighbor? does my neighbor have to be the poor guy? why can't my neighbor be the rich guy? >> well, i think... the way we love our neighbor who are rich is we encourage them to be good christians. and help the those who are in need pay their taxes. jesus did say to pay your taxes. and to help people in that way. (laughter) >> stephen: i don't remember that part. i don't remember that part.
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but what you're talking about is redistribution of wealth. that's socialism. >> shocking, isn't it? >> stephen: that's socialism. jesus did not room with karl marx, okay? last time i checked, sir. >> last time i checked, however, though, pope benedict, who is not known as a liberal, said one of the purposes of government is to redistribute wealth to help poor people so that they can have a chance. that we should not concentrate all the wealth of the world in the hands of a very few people (cheers and applause) >> stephen: but if we did keep the wealth in the hands of the wealthiest people, wouldn't that be good for the kids who want to go to georgetown because it costs like $800,000 a year to go through now, doesn't it? that's a little hypocritical, isn't it padre? (laughter)
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>> this is why we're also very upset about the cuts in pell grants. (cheers and applause) >> stephen: sir, i teach sunday school, jesus doesn't say anything about pell grants. (laughter) father, thank you so much for joining me. (cheers and applause) father tom reese from georgetown university. we'll be right back. (cheers and applause)
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(cheers and applause) >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. thanks very much. my guest tonight proposes a new form of government. i hope it's a poppy-ocracy. that would be adorable. please welcome carne ross! (cheers and applause) mr. ross, thank you so much. all right, sir. now you are an economist, correct? >> originally, yes. >> stephen: originally an economist and now you're a former senior british diplomatic official and you left service in the british government after you had testified secretly that bush and blair said it was more of a threat than iraq maybe was. >> yes. >> stephen: so you are a traitor? (laughter)
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>> a little bit, yeah, they thought about prosecuting me but they didn't. >> stephen: you have a new book here that i have a problem with. it's called "the leaderless revolution: how ordinary people will take power and change politics in the 21st century." leaderless revolution. that's called chaos. (laughter) that's called anarchy. you want no leaders. have you ever been in a theater company? (laughter) that's five hours to decide where you're going to have dinner. what do you mean leaderless? >> well, i think the government as it's constituted is not working. >> stephen: whose government? your government? the british government? i admit that whole queen thing is crazy. >> i'm applying for american citizenship. >> stephen: good luck with that, buddy, this ain't gone that help. this ain't gonna help. but all right. our government isn't working? it's working for me. >> when you say that leaderlessness, an arky is a
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threat of tales but i believe the current system as it's currently constitutes, representative government, the capitalist system is the increasing volatility. so basically greater chaos than an alternative system might be. >> stephen: i'm a businessman, okay. you a businessman? >> no. >> stephen: okay, i got you. i'm a businessman. what we like is to know what's going to happen tomorrow because that kind of stability is how we make our plans. i know what's going to happen with the government, okay? my government is going to be pro-business. that's what i know. i know who the leaders are because i helped them get into the office because i have a super pac. (cheers and applause) without any leader, i don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. every single person in america is going to do whatever they want. >> well, i think that would be rather wonderful in a way. i think democratic government has been co-opted. it's not really of the people, it's not really by the people and therefore it's not really
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for the people and i believe the government should actually be by people. that they should take action themselves. >> stephen: they are by people because in america corporations are legally people. (laughter) okay? >> that's part of the problem. i think whoever you vote for it's clear the government has been co-opted and there are much better models, for instance, in a city of brazil, where literally everybody participates in decision making through mass forums, debates on how to set a budget. >> stephen: i went down to these these guys, they're like i like it, i don't like it, i'm not sure about it. >> it's called participatory democracy. >> stephen: everything takes forever. this is a fast-paced internet world. >> if you look at washington today it takes forever already. i think that could be improved on. (cheers and applause) >> i prefer to think nothing gets done at the speed of light. do you like those occupy people? you work with those occupy
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people? >> yeah, i like them very much and i've been to the demonstrations since the early days days and since then i'm part of a working group that's been trying to set up an occupy bank that would actually replace the current banking system no less because i believe and i think other group members believe is that wall street people, dissidentd from the system that you can't reform the current system. you can't look to washington to reform the current system therefore you have to set up an alternative system that would be better that's the theory of change we have in our group. >> stephen: how many people do we have in this group? >> it's quite small. (laughter) >> stephen: do you have a leader? >> it's leaderless. we have ideas and we work together. we've been working together for about six months. it's sometimes rather dull but we're making progress. we've hammered out an idea of what a bank would look like. >> stephen: do you ever think to yourself in one of these meetings "i think my idea is the best idea." (laughter) >> of course i do.
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>> stephen: that's what a leader does. >> stephen: they don't follow, that's the thing. occupy is a leaderless movement, that's what gives it such power. nobody has the right to speak for it. it's about many things, not one thing. >> stephen: do you think if the system is corrupt as you think and you make some headway with your leaderless revolution that you'll be rounded up and sent someplace? because in a real revolution that often happens to people that take the first move to change the system. they get rounded up and never seen again. >> well, i think we worry as a group that if we're successful we'll get pushback. at the moment it is banks are sitting pretty. they don't think occupy will change things. they see it as a demonstration and they're looking down from their skyscrapers feeling pretty comfortable. but if we set up an alternative bank that people flock to because it's better, it's cheaper, fairer, reaches out to the poor, everybody who has anis a member, that would be a better bank than what we're currently operating. >> stephen: i hate to tell you, we tried banks that reached out to the poor, they're called
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subprime loans, and it didn't work out. (audience reacts) >> well, that was more about exploiting the poor. >> stephen: well, potato-potahto. carne ross. the book