Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (2014) s02e05 Episode Script

U.S. Territories

1 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver S02E05 U.
Territories Welcome, welcome, welcome to "Last Week Tonight"! I'm John Oliver.
Just time for a quick recap of the week.
And it was dominated here at home by this.
Breaking news back here at home tonight out of Ferguson, Missouri.
Let's just all agree that breaking news out of Ferguson has become one of the most dread-inducing combinations of words in the English language, alongside Dr.
Phil sex tape and vegan cupcakes.
Now, on Wednesday, the department of justice released two reports on Ferguson.
The first announced no civil rights charges would be filed against officer Darren Wilson for the Michael brown shooting.
But it was the second one that had people talking.
The department also officially released a scathing report that found systemic racial bias in the Ferguson police department and courts.
Now, I done think anyone was truly surprised by the contents of that report.
But in fact, you needed to read that report the same way you needed to read the reviews of "Mortdecai.
" You knew the verdict would be terrible.
It was just which particular words they chose to use.
Now, the report didn't just show evidence of disproportionate targeting and violence against African-Americans.
It also showed this.
Investigators say that they found e-mails from court officials and police department, police officers they were racial jokes that reference president Obama.
Another message in June 2011 compared dogs to African-Americans, suggesting the animals needed welfare because they were mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no fricking clue who their daddies are.
It's moments like these that make me glad I'm on Hbo, where you can hear me say this.
Fuck those fucking assholes! It's what.
This is what swearing is for.
The mayor of Ferguson went immediately into damage control mode, inexplicably arguing that we should not blow this all out of proportion.
These actions taken by these individuals are in no way representative of the employees of the city of Ferguson.
"In no way representative"? Did you read the report? They were entirely representative.
That's the problem! The.
these e-mail were apparently sent from official city of Ferguson e-mail addresses to supervisors in both the Ferguson police department and the court system, during work hours So they couldn't be more representative of Ferguson city employees if their signature said sent from the very core of who I am as a person.
I, I will say, that.
there is one thing the mayor of Ferguson said in his press conference that did made sense.
Today's report allows the city of Ferguson to identify the problems not only in our police department, but in the entire St.
Louis region.
Now, that is true because let's be clear, this is not just Ferguson.
And if you need proof here's just one other example.
A year and a half ago, an African-American police officer in St.
Louis received this letter at work.
It read in part quote: "you black expletive, we want you out of our station, we want your black expletive dead.
Expletive your medals.
If an aid call comes out for you, we won't respond, kill yourself expletive or we will.
Respectfully, south patrol"? I'll tell you what gets me about that ending a racist threatening letter with respectfully.
Just goes to show, whatever systemic problems that area may have, Midwestern politeness is unshakeable.
I can only assume that that officer responded, dear assholes, why don't you racist fucks shove a burning cross up your white asses? Love and smooches, your friend and colleague.
So let's.
let's move on.
Let's move on from Ferguson to a slighlty less contentious spot on the globe, Israel.
Their elections are in two weeks time, and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent ad campaign has proven controversial.
Islamic state fighters on the road to Israel, at least that's what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning voters in this campaign advertisement.
The message appears to be if the center left defeats Netanyahu's right wing party in the march 17 parliamentary election ISIL will hand up taking over.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure if ISIL were going to take over Israel, they wouldn't be politely waiting until after the election.
Death to Israel, pending all precincts reporting! Respect the process guys.
Stand back.
Meanwhile, one of Netanyahu's main opponents, Isaac Herzog, has been running an ad addressing a slightly less urgent issue.
Yeah, Isaac Herzog is apparently concerned that people hate his voice.
And, and if you're thinking, why? He seems to have a perfectly pleasant baritone.
Well, it turns out, for that ad, he dubbed his own voice with that of a booming announcer, which, which kind of makes you wonder how annoying is this guy's actual voice, if he's been forced to do that? I mean, are we talking Pee Wee Herman mid orgasm? Ray Romano possessed by the ghost of a duck? Russell Crowe's normal singing voice? What, What level of irritation to the human ear is it? I have to hear this horrific real voice in action.
There is also a growing disappointment and mistrust about Netanyahu's security policy.
That voice is fine.
That's a normal, human male voice.
I have to say it's not a great sign of strong leadership that the moment someone criticizes your voice, you panic and go hire a stunt-larynx.
But, but the single greatest campaign ad from the Israeli election so far is from the Yesh Atid party, which consists of, and this is true a three-hour long, single shot of a man summarizing his party's achievements, while someone paints a mural behind him.
And it's pretty bold to make a video that literally allows people to compare you to the experience of watching paint dry.
In fact, the single most exciting thing that happens in that three-hour video is this.
Now now, give him credit.
He did nail that he was, he was two hours and fifteen minutes in.
If he'd given himself the hiccups, they would've had to start over from the start.
But, finally tonight.
The button on a vending machine most likely to be covered by a piece of masking tape crudely labeled "Root Beer".
Fanta was actually in the news this week for some spectacular reasons.
Coca-Cola has pulled its latest ad for Fanta in Germany over an unintended reference to Nazi Germany.
Ok, Ok If you work in advertising before you hit the button on any campaign, someone has to say just to be clear, we all checked this thing for Nazi references, right? We don't want another Michael Jordan with a Hitler mustache issue, ok? We don't want that to happen again.
Apparently, Coca-Cola made the mistake of deciding to celebrate Fanta's 75th anniversary by reminding people of how it was invented.
In the video, Coca cola explains how its German plant was having difficulty getting the syrup needed to make coke in the 40's, so bottlers were forced to make their own sodas, including Fanta.
The problem? The reason the plants had a hard time getting the syrup was of World War 2 and trade embargoes against Nazi Germany.
Fanta was invented in Nazi Germany.
And if you didn't know that before, I'm willing to bet it's the only thing you're going to associate Fanta with from now on.
Look, it's a pretty good rule that any companies with historic ties to the Nazis should generally avoid nostalgia.
There, there is a reason that Volkswagen emphasizes things like the Passat winning car of the year.
Rather than, say, the honors it won back in the 1940's.
Herbie! How could you! You've truly gone bananas! I'll say this, Fanta.
Good luck trying to get people to forget your connection to Nazi Germany again.
Because I do not think it can be done.
We at Fanta are well aware we've had some messaging problems recently.
So we just want to remind you what Fanta is really all about.
It's the cool, crisp carbonated drink that marches across your taste buds like Oh, wait.
Hold on.
Not marches.
Fizzes across your taste buds.
If you're on a beach, on a hot summer day think of Fanta as a corridor to the sea.
Wait, no, no not that.
Just focus on the great taste of Fanta, it will annex your thirst.
- No annex! - Quench? - Is quench ok? - Yeah, yeah, quench is fine.
We just want to make sure when you think about Fanta you don't automatically think about Nazis.
Fanta, Nazis, shit! Moving on.
Our main story tonight, our main story tonight concern voting Yesterday mark the 50th anniversary of the first Selma march one of the pivotal moments which led to the voting rights act.
But voting rights in this country much like John Travolta's hair are still very much a work in progress.
There are the obvious obstacles for many Americans, such as increasingly restrictive voter I.
But there's also the less obvious ones, as congress was reminded just this week.
As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma this week and the subsequent passage of the voting rights act, I want to once again call to the attention of my colleagues here in congress that there are still American citizens today who do not have equal voting rights.
These are citizens of Americans island territories, the U.
virgin islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and the northern Marianas.
Yes, American citizens living in U.
island territories do not get to vote for president.
That's the kind of unsettling fact that deep down, you probably knew, but chose not to think about, much like the fact that the dog from "full house" is definitely dead by now, that kind of thing.
But, but more then.
You're proving my point.
More than 4 million people live in the U.
More than 98% of them are racial or ethnic minorities.
And the more you look into the history of why their voting rights are restricted, the harder it is to justify.
Because it goes all the way back to when America first acquired them.
The United States flag is flying over these lands, and so some people said, well doesn't that mean American laws apply? In 1901 the insular cases.
Basically the judgment of the supreme court was, that the new territories were inhabited by, "alien races" and they may not be able to understand anglo-Saxon laws, therefore the constitution doesn't have to apply.
Alien races can't understand anglo-saxon principles.
I find that condescending, and I'm British.
We basically invented patronizing bigotry.
I do so wish we could explain the concept of voting to them, but dear me, their savage little coconut brains would probably just collapse.
I'm, I'm assuming it's coconut milk in there.
We'll see see, whacky stick.
Look, the point is, if that has not set off some alarm bells for you, the man who wrote the lead decision in the first of those rulings was justice Henry Billings brown, who, fun fact, also wrote the famous "separate but equal" decision in Plessy V.
Ferguson, and even he suggested these exceptions to the constitution should only stand for a time as in, a temporary arrangement.
But it's been 114 years.
It's like, for over a century, America's computer has been saying, an update to your country is available.
And we've been clicking remind me later.
Again and again and again.
So tonight, let's look at voting rights in the territories, and we'll begin in Puerto Rico, whose citizens are Americans.
A fact that comes as a surprise to a shocking number of people, as we learned when Sonia Sotomayor was named to the supreme court.
Sotomayor, a Bronx native, is the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants.
She was a first generation American, the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants She's the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants She's the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants No, she isn't.
She's the daughter of Americans who moved from Puerto Rico.
If puerto ricans are immigrants, anyone who moves anywhere is an immigrant.
Hey bro, could you help me immigrate apartments on Saturday? I need to immigrate a couch up two floors upstairs Puerto Rico has more American citizens than 21 U.
But less voting rights than any of them.
And whether or not they choose to become a state, it's a little weird that, while they're making that decision, they have a delegate in congress who can't do much.
My constituents cherish their U.
citizenship and have made countless contributions to this country Yet, they cannot vote for president have no U.
senators and send one delegate to the house who has a voice but no vote in this chamber.
It's pretty infantilizing, when discussing national legislation, to give Puerto Rico the same status as a 6-year-old voting on where the family should get to go on vacation.
Oh, what's that, Timmy? Narnia? Okay.
Colonial Williamsburg it is then.
And You were heard, Timmy, you were heard.
And the same voting right restrictions apply to the residents of Guam, the pacific territory that, unequivocally, sounds the most like a Batman punch.
There is, there is nothing not to love about Guam.
It's a beautiful island in a strategically important location for the U.
So much so, their bases currently occupy over a quarter of Guam's land.
And yet the residents of Guam have absolutely no say in general elections for their commander in chief.
Which is even harder to swallow when you consider this: According to Guam's office of veterans affairs, at least 1 in 8 adult Guamanians is a veteran, among the highest percentages of all US states and territories.
Guam gives a quarter of its land and as much as an eighth of its people to the US military.
At this point, the American flag should really just be a guy from Guam waving an American flag.
And yet, due in part to their lack of full voting rights, those veterans are shamefully under-served.
In 2012 Guam ranked dead last in per capita spending on medical care by the us department of veterans affairs or the V.
It's called a PTSD program locator so it tells me to enter my address.
Five options here but the closest one so far looks like Hawaii.
It's 3,803 miles, point 22miles.
That is disgusting.
The only person who should have to travel 3,800 miles for treatment should be a Beverly Hills housewife flying to Colombia for unapproved lip injections derived from cobra venom.
But the amazing thing is, just because Guam residents aren't allowed to vote for president, doesn't mean that they don't.
Guam holds a straw poll every presidential election.
And their registered voter turnout is actually higher than that of the rest of America.
And to misquote the words of the great philosopher Lil Jon, turn out for what? That's, that's a great song.
But, but just imagine how it must feel to have the desire to vote but know deep down you're going to be ignored.
Actually, you don't have to imagine it because let this Guam voter tell you.
It's terrible.
I mean, I believe it's not fair, you know.
We're all citizens of the united states.
I wish somebody changed that.
That sounds sad but at least on election day that woman gets to wear the incredibly special, I voted and I wish it had actually counted sticker.
But amazingly, Guam still gets more respect from the U.
Government than American Samoa.
As was proven a little while back when a U.
member of congress was tasked with introducing their delegate, Eni Faleomavaega.
The chair recognizes the gentleman from American Samolia, Mr.
Samolia? Listen, I get that his name is a little difficult.
But you can not mispronounce American Samoa.
There's a fucking girl scout cookie named after it.
Think, think about it this way.
Would you forget the name of the state of Thinmintissippi? No! That would be ridiculous.
But watch how gracious American Samolia's delegate was in his response.
Thank you, Mr.
It's American Samoa.
That is class that I do not have.
Because If I were him, I'd have responded thank you, it's a privilege to be here in Waffleton D.
In the great united sporks of Amooga-boink.
American Samoans not only lack voting rights, they lack a little something extra, too.
The US constitution grants citizenship to everyone born on U.
soil except in one jurisdiction.
American Samoa, in the south pacific.
It is a U.
territory but people who are born there do not automatically get US citizenship.
They don't even get automatic citizenship.
Meaning the American part of American Samoa is really just a title that doesn't mean anything, like people's choice award nominee or social media expert.
Just devoid of meaning.
And that fact is especially shocking when you learn that American Samoa a territory that cannot vote for a president who could send it to war is also home to the top army recruiting station in the country.
So now, I'm thinking the American flag should be a guy from American Samoa, waving a flag with a guy from Guam on it, waving the American flag And because of their status as non-citizens, many veterans have to carry around a humiliating reminder that they are not equal in the eyes of the law.
So this here is my U.
national passport.
The very last page of the passport makes it uniquely a U.
national passport.
It makes me look like I'm an outsider.
I think it demeans me as a person, I think.
That's right, they're not citizens, but nationals, which means they can't run for president serve on a federal jury, or depending on where they live, even become a public schoolteacher.
So they're kinda like off-brand citizens.
They're, they're Americans in the same way that these are Froot loops, or this is Dr.
You can pretend it's the same thing, everyone knows it's worse.
Five American Samoans are actually suing the government to change this rule, but the Obama administration has fought them by citing the insular cases from earlier which surgetted that American Samoans like all residents of the territories can be given few rights because they belong to alien races different from us in customs and mode of thought and that's a tricky argument to win, in the face of this kind of evidence.
- Where are you from? - I'm originally from American Samoa.
And what do you do for a living? I'm a soldier in the US army.
I joined straight out of high school and it was something to serve my country and to give back.
I'm active service, we just got back from deployment to Afghanistan for nine months.
Not really sure how to feel about it something in the way you move makes me feel like I can't live without you and it takes me all the way I said I want you to stay I want you to stay Just to be clear, that is an Afghanistan war veteran moving an audience to cheers and at least one judge to a partial orgasm with a rendition of a Rihanna song on a show called "America's got talent.
" If that is not an American, I don't think one has ever existed.
And look, look there are, there are a lot of complicated issues surrounding what the precise status of all the U.
territories should be and what the people who live there would prefer.
But surely, when it comes to denying Americans the right to vote, we have to find a better reason than citing a 100-year-old legal decision written by a racist that was always supposed to be temporary.
And I'm not saying this'll be an easy thing to do.
I'm just saying, we have figured out a lot more complicated things in the last 114 years.
Think about it.
We invented television.
We eliminated the measles.
And then, for some fucking reason, brought them back again! We've held 30 Wrestlemanias and those things are logistical nightmares.
And you know what else we figured out? How to fucking fly! And if we can work out how to climb inside metal birds, slip the bonds of this earth and soar through the air to visit these territories, we should be able to work out how to ensure the four million people who live there get adequately heard.
And now this.
And now "Last Week Tonight" asks how is this still a thing? This week daylight saving time.
How is this still a thing? If you're like most Americans, you've been groggy all day after losing an hour of sleep to daylight savings.
And as you struggle to remember how to change the clock on your fucking microwave you may have wondered why is this happening.
For years conventional wisdom has been benefiting one particular group I know it started because of farmers.
I'm almost sure of that.
But that's not actually true.
It gives us an extra time to plant.
An extra time to harvest.
It has nothing to do with farmers.
I remember years ago hearing that it was for the farm people.
The farm people want nothing to do with this as they themselves will tell you.
I know really no farmer that I'm aware of that benefits from, from you know actual farm activities from daylights savings time.
Of course daylight savings doesn't benefit farmers Cows don't care what time it is because they're cows and cows are idiots.
So if it's not for them who is it for? The modern daylight savings was introduced during the first world war as a fuel setting measure by the Germans.
That's right you lost an hour of sleep this morning thanks to kaiser Wilhelm.
And well back then daylight savings may indeed have saved fuel, in the modern era energy consumption is a little more complicated.
In fact when Indiana adopted the daylight savings in 2006, guess what happened? The data shows that daylight savings actually led to a 1% overall rise in residential electricity Of course, it did.
Because switching on a lamp an hour later in the summer doesn't really matter when you're blasting an air conditioner and staying up all night psychotically scrolling through Instagram of your ex's honeymoon to Morocco.
But that's not to say daylight saving doesn't have any effect at all Study show there is an increase of car accident and work related injuries the week after the time change.
That's right.
What you lose in sleep you gain in mortal danger.
Despite all this 70 countries around the world still observe daylight savings.
And yet by going by local news reports, none of them could tell you why.
From Australia.
Oh daylight saving almost have a full another year with it comes the usual debate over its merits and lacks thereof.
To Italy.
It's a pain in the ass, basically.
To even the Germans, the people who started this all mess.
The time change for many people is ridiculous whether it's an hour ahead or later it's complete nonsense.
Complete nonsense And that's coming from a country that think this is a word and that this is dancing.
So if it doesn't benefit our energy bill, our health, or our stupid, stupid cows, it has to make you wonder, daylight saving time, how is this still a thing? And finally tonight, a quick update on the the tobacco industry.
A few weeks ago, we looked at their efforts to bully countries out of adopting plain-packaging laws.
Well, this week, to their credit, another country was brave enough to try.
Ireland today became the first country in the E.
And only the second in the world to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.
Good for you Ireland.
That is remarkable and all the more so because in the run-up to that, tobacco companies sent threatening letters to the Irish government, with an affiliate of Philip Morris international claiming the laws infringe its trademarks saying and I quote "as a dance is only meaningful when danced, so a trademark is only meaningful when used"? And you know you have a pretty weak legal argument if it sounds like a rejected fucking Jewel lyric.
Now, you may recall, when we talked about this, we struck upon a compromise, suggesting that Marlboro should be allowed to put branding on its packaging, so long as that branding was their new mascot, Jeff the diseased lung in a cowboy hat.
We even took out an ad at a bus stop in Uruguay and shipped a box of Jeff t-shirts to Togo.
We encouraged the rest of the world to spread the word about Jeff using the Hashtag #Jeffwecan.
And to our absolute joy, Jeff you did.
Jeff you did very much but it did not stop there.
Because and we had nothing to do with the rest of this There are now shockingly good animated videos of Jeff on YouTube, as well as this bus stop ad in Germany, featuring text which roughly translates as, break the tobacco industry.
Which is fantastic.
Quick note, if you're going to reference Kim Kardashian's break the Internet photo shoot, you should really make Jeff look like this.
So that's just they were both good.
It's just, if you.
The point is the point is, it actually gets one step better because incredibly, someone made an elaborate full Jeff costume, and sent us a video from Mexico city of him dancing around onstage at a rally.
Gracias, Mexico.
Muy bueno.
You should all feel free to continue whatever Jeff-based madness you see fit.
But by way of thanks, we wanted to give something back to you.
In the words of the great poet Philip Morris international.
A dance is only meaningful if it's danced.
So please now welcome Jeff and the diseased lung line dancers to perform the soon-to-be international dance craze, the Jeff! Ok.
That's, that's our show, everybody! Good night! Thank you so much for joining us! We'll see you again next week! Jeff, are you ok? You're ok, Jeff.
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