The West Wing s03e08 Episode Script

The Women of Qumar

Previously on The West Wing: You have to ask a girl out on a date.
You can't just randomly tumble into a girl sideways and hope she breaks up with you.
- Why not? She goes out with guys.
Are you jealous? - No.
- See? - I don't get jealous.
- Gather ye rosebuds.
Donna, I'm not gonna knock on her door.
, do you know anything about the president being sued? Sued? It was in the Rocky Mountain Bugler.
-Rocky Mountain Bugle.
-Rocky Mountain Herald.
- The president being sued? - Unless this person was making it up.
All right, that's all, everybody, I'll see you at 5.
- Thank you, C.
- Thank you, C.
You haven't heard anything, have you? - What? - The president being sued.
- It's the News, isn't it? - What? The Rocky Mountain News.
There's a veterans' group talking about not showing up for the anniversary.
- Which group? - I don't know.
- Why aren't they? - They're talking about it.
- Why? - I don't know.
Do you know about the president being sued? Katie Witt thinks there was an item in the Rocky Mountain News.
- Thought it was the Bugler.
- It's not.
I don't know anything about it.
Have you set up a meeting for me? With the veterans' group? The one that's talking about not coming? You haven't, have you? - But you will.
- Yes.
The president's being sued? - You get this from the Rocky Mountain? - Got it from the DOJ.
Civil Division.
Three months ago, at a fundraiser, the president was asked about air bags.
Someone suggested they're dangerous.
The president says, I'm quoting: "Everything has risks.
You could drive into a lake your seat belt jams.
No one says, 'Don't wear a seat belt.
'" Oh, please don't tell me! That someone thought that's what he was saying? A couple got into an accident, he wasn't wearing a seat belt, he died.
- She's suing for contributory negligence.
- Can't sue the president.
Lawyers get rich trying to.
- We should do something preemptive.
- It's no big deal.
Isn't that what we say before something becomes a big deal? - Good morning, sir.
- Good morning, Mr.
Come with me for a second, would you? It's possible you're gonna hear stuff about seat belts today.
- I urge you to ignore it.
- No problem.
You straightening things out with the Smithsonian? I'm to speak at an exhibit marking the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor but a small veterans' group objects on the grounds that it's America-bashing.
- I thought you liked America-bashing.
- I wouldn't say that.
- What would you say? - I wouldn't.
- Sir, you needed me? - Frank, what was added? Hutchinson said two F-117 strike fighters have been added to the package.
- This is Qumar? - Yeah.
That means the total is 15 AMRAAMs, the two F-117 strike fighters and the PAC-3 missile.
There's no way I'll remember that.
Can you send somebody a memo? - This is in exchange for a five-year - Ten-year lease agreement.
The point is that we've dotted the I's and we're ready to announce.
- I'll let C.
- But have her pass it off to the DOD.
- You wanna bury it? - Not totally, but Passing it off to another department is signaling we don't want the public to care.
Every time we make one of these deals with a place like Qumar I feel the women around here look at me funny.
- You're wrong about that.
- You think it's just guilt? - Yes, sir.
- Well, how should I deal with guilt? Be more like me.
- Yeah, okay.
- Anything else, sir? - C.
's gonna be cool with this? - She's who you're worried about? She knows who the good guys are, right? - Okay, thanks.
- Thank you.
What's next? Could I get five minutes without being interrupted by banality? - It's not banality.
It's the boss's wife.
- Good morning, ma'am.
- Little heads up wouldn't be out of line.
- I said,"Josh.
" Yeah.
What can I do for you, ma'am? - I got a letter from Amy Gardner.
- I was cc'd on that.
- She seems pretty irate.
- Amy Gardner's always irate.
- I wouldn't give it a lot of thought.
- I agree with her.
- Me too.
I think it deserves thought.
- I thought you might.
- I was kidding.
- I don't care.
It was cosigned by NOW, the Women's Action League, and 10 women's groups.
- I've gotta go to Vienna next week.
- Honestly, ma'am, due respect they're overreacting.
We're talking about one word.
That dramatically alters the effectiveness of the treaty? I don't know how dramatically.
The current draft says "forced prostitution" excluding other types of prostitution and sex trafficking? - I suppose that's for prosecutors - Well, Amy says that unless the U.
removes the word"forced" it's gonna be difficult to prosecute at all.
- You've spoken with her? - Yes.
And I'd like you to do the same.
Really? See? Now you're wishing it'd been banality.
Yes, I am.
- Have a good day.
- Thank you, ma'am.
Thanks for waiting.
These are Drs.
Bedrosian and Califf.
This is Leo McGarry.
- How you doing? - Fine.
- Why are we here? - A herd of cattle in Ogallala, Nebraska was accidentally given banned feed and quarantined 18 months ago.
One of the cattle showed neurological damage.
It was unable to stand, called a downer cow.
Tissue was sent to NVSL in Ames, lowa, for the first round of tests.
- Another sample was sent to the U.
- And? The first round of lowa tissue showed a presumptive positive.
- Mad Cow? - We don't know that.
- But we think? - We have to wait for the U.
Worst-case scenario? We declare a national emergency and a Class-1 recall on consumer beef.
We've tested over 12,000 samples, and none of them have come up positive.
- 12,000 out of how many nationally? - Forty million adult cattle.
Somebody needs to teach me about this.
We need a response to Kendall in the Weekly Standard.
What did he say? "Our education re-authorization bill has more pork than a pig-picking festival.
" A"pig-picking festival"? I'm in favor of English being the national language.
It's worth knowing he's pushing for four new schools, one of which is - Named after him? - Yes.
Thank you, Santa.
How about? "It's hard to get at the pork when the chairman's hogging the trough.
" - That's why he gets all the great women.
- What else? Be briefed on the arms sale to Qumar.
The Pentagon leaked it.
Qumar? In the Gulf? - Is there another one? - No.
We lease an air base in Qumar.
Lease is up and they won't renew without an arms package.
When did we make an arms deal with Qumar? - What does it matter? - What does it matter? - Yeah.
- What are we selling? - Don't start.
- What are we selling? - What are we selling? - Fifteen AMRAAMs, 50 M1-A1 tank kits 10 F-15s and Patriot missiles for 1.
5 billion and they renew the lease.
Don't start? What the hell? - Anything else? - No.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, C.
- This is how it starts.
- What? - Trouble.
This is how trouble starts.
- Seat belts? Contributory negligence in wrongful death is the tort equivalent of murder.
And aren't lawsuits against the president the tort equivalent of insane? Like the guy suing the president to stop CIA radio transmissions in his bridgework? Or the guy suing to get the man from planet Xanadu removed from his yard? - That's not local? - It's federal.
There's the couple suing for repayment of all back taxes, ever because taxes are unconstitutional.
- They are.
- Sam.
- They're not.
The bow-tie manufacturer from the Garment District who blames the falling market on the president not wearing bow ties.
There's a reason the Civil Division gave us a heads up.
This one could break.
One random comment, and that's the ball game.
You think murder is gonna overtake education and health care? No, you're right, because health care and education are much sexier.
What are you suggesting? That we come out right now for a national seat-belt law.
Wait, better yet, why doesn't he set up his own checkpoint on l-95? That's impractical.
So is twisting national policy over a non-story.
- It's not gonna be a non-story.
- Are you talking to me? No.
Good morning, Mr.
- Did the Celtics win last night? - They got crushed.
Okay, when I say,"Did they win?" you can just say yes or no.
- They got crushed.
- What are you doing? - Sorry, I had a few minutes.
- I'm just asking.
I'm making notes for a final: "Consumer movements in late 20th-century America.
" - Modern American history sucks.
- I had a hunch.
Study the Crusades, fall of the Roman Empire from Theodosius to Justinian.
- The Visigoths.
- Damn right.
Modern history's another name for television.
Is there any way I can help? I'm a master of modern history, ask me anything.
What year did we pass the Clean Water Act? - I don't know.
- Okay.
- Good morning.
- They said you needed to see me.
- What's going on? - I'm gonna tell you.
Good morning, Mr.
Sir, at this moment, we're waiting to hear from the U.
K on confirmation of a test for Mad Cow.
Oh, man, they got it again? No, sir.
I mean a U.
A U.
case? Right now it's what's called a presumptive positive.
England will come with definitive results.
- How long? - In 72 hours.
- Do we say anything? - That's my question.
- That's why you're here.
- We have to.
Put the secretary in the briefing room with experts from Maryland the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, soften up the ground.
In three days, we'll have our facts, make a full disclosure.
- But meanwhile - The USDA takes the time for tracing checking feed logs.
We don't know how many herds have to be quarantined.
We don't know how many know already.
- Nobody knows.
- A rancher knows.
- Labs in lowa and England, the USDA - They're our labs in lowa and the rancher doesn't have interest in saying his cattle are sick.
- Yeah, we gotta wait.
- Sir The second we say"positive," beef futures collapse and we lose 3.
6 billion in beef exports.
Fast food is deserted, supermarkets pull beef, it's panic.
I wanna talk to more people.
In the meantime, we wait.
- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you, Mr.
- Wanna see panic? - Hang on.
You wanna see panic, let the story break on CNN.
Waiting buys us time to get reassuring answers.
How many times can we get caught keeping a secret? Sometimes we're supposed to do that.
- All right.
- Thanks.
Three weeks ago, a woman in Qumar was executed for adultery.
Didn't need a lawyer, because there was no trial.
Her husband's word against hers.
Later today, I'm gonna be announcing that we're selling them tanks and guns.
- Amy should be with you in a minute.
- Thanks.
This is interesting art on the walls.
A lot of very strong women who could hurt me.
Only if you provoked them.
She's busy with something important or she wouldn't make you wait.
- Special J.
- Amy.
Thanks for waiting, I was playing a little Nintendo.
I'm kidding.
I was on a conference call.
You want anything? Coke? Pepsi? Shrimp cocktail? No.
- How you been? - Good.
You know what this is? A map of global trafficking in prostitution? You know who drew it? Amerigo Vespucci? That's funny, J.
It was your State Department.
- It's your State Department too.
- Yeah, a little more yours than mine.
Every time you write a letter to the first lady she gets in gear because she feels guilty that she's not doing enough for women.
She's not doing enough.
- What would you like? - I'm glad you asked.
Not half as glad as I am.
Current draft says forced prostitution, not other types, is sexual exploitation.
What about someone who answers an ad for an au pair and ends up working in a whorehouse, where they're held hostage? That's not the worst-case scenario.
Five days ago, four 13-year-old Thai girls hanged themselves in an abandoned house on Stonycrest Lane in Bethesda.
Not halfway around the world, Bethesda.
Sheets over windows, triple locks on doors no phones, handcuffs hanging off the bedposts.
For the price of a toaster, their parents had sold them to work as babysitters.
How is that not forced prostitution? I've got a whole floor full of lawyers who In the last two years, including girls who should be playing with Easy-Bake Ovens 100,000 were brought here and forced to work as prostitutes.
You know how many cases we've prosecuted? - Not enough.
- Two hundred and fifty.
You guys are about to make it harder, so I dropped the first lady a note.
What the hell are those? - Those are balloon animals.
- I'm sorry? I have nephews who like balloon animals, so I got someone to teach me.
- Are they abstract? - I'm a beginner.
- We can't drop the word.
- Why? We're not the only ones in the world.
Prostitution is legal in Germany, Turkey, Netherlands.
- If we alienate them - They don't sign.
The more countries that sign, more effective it is.
The more toothless the treaty, the more toothless it is.
- That's a permeating syllogism.
- I'm not screwing around.
The women's vote isn't half your constituency.
- It's the entire margin of victory.
- Who else are you gonna vote for? I don't know, but you haven't appointed enough women to the federal bench.
We'll hold up your other nominations.
I didn't burn my bras, J.
In fact, I like my bras.
I ring your bell when it's important.
All right.
Would you get back to me before the end of the day and let me know where we are? - Yeah.
Thank you.
The art around here scares the hell out of me.
That's what it's supposed to do.
Good morning.
Thanks for waiting.
- How are you, Toby? Evan Woodkirk.
- Good to see you.
Mary Klein.
Tell me why I'm talking to you.
The Smithsonian is opening an exhibit marking the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Why is that making veterans unhappy? Let's be clear.
The USF is a very small group.
Maybe 2000 members and only 30 of them were gonna be attending.
They're not, they're boycotting.
It's not like we're not able to fill those seats.
We don't see it as a problem.
The president's speaking at the opening, so it's a problem.
They're not gonna keep their unhappiness to themselves.
I don't want the president where there are pissed-off veterans.
- There's nothing to be concerned about.
- What are they gonna tell me? They'll tell you they're troubled by the commentary on the propaganda posters.
- Which is? - Sorry? The commentary.
These were fear-inspiring posters, incredibly racist.
- And you say so in the commentary.
- In so many words.
"The Sowers" portrays the Japanese as hulking barbarians, tossing human skulls onto the ground.
How about the exhibit, "America's Vengeance"? - You've reviewed the material? - Vengeance is pretty provocative especially when followed by the burnt contents of a child's lunch box.
Of course I've reviewed the material.
Excuse me, I'm sorry.
Do you have a moment? I want you to get with C.
when you can.
Sure, why? A lab in the U.
is gonna let us know in 72 hours if the first U.
case of Mad Cow is in Nebraska right now.
- We got a presumptive positive on - Seventy-two hours.
- We should keep it to ourselves.
- That's what I think.
disagrees, and the president wants to hear more.
- Leo.
- Yeah? You know the president's being sued? - I'm sorry? - The president's being sued.
- Oh, the guy from the planet Zanzibar.
- Xanadu, no.
The seat belts.
That's not gonna be anything.
Washington Times is running,"Bartlet Accused of Contributory Negligence.
" I didn't think The Washington Times could spell all those words.
- A29, above the fold.
- There's a fold that deep in the paper? It's gonna be picked up by The Post and The New York Times.
- Let's be ahead of it.
- How? Come out for a national seat-belt law.
- It's never gonna happen.
- Why? - Most important state in the primaries? - New Hampshire.
- Most important state in the general? - Michigan.
The only state without a mandatory seat-belt law? - New Hampshire.
- Where do they make the cars? Fair enough.
Can I explore it? Knock yourself out.
In fact, go ahead and knock yourself out.
The appointments aren't gonna be held up.
At least not by Lady Godiva.
Tell me she wasn't bare-breasted, at least outside your imagination.
Yeah, no, she was.
I'm saying, if she wants to front off there's not a moral imperative for the White House to get behind, what? Equity in Insurance Coverage for Contraception or whatever it is.
More money for sewing notions and whatnot.
Suffrage and the right to smoke.
She wants heat, we can hold off backing for the Child Support Enforcement Act.
- But you don't want to do that.
- Of course I don't.
- I'm a friend to the working mom.
- You want her to have sewing notions.
- I do.
- Can I ask you something? Do you think it's possible there's a broader point? No.
Why? What? That leaving the word"forced" condones consensual prostitution.
- That's ridiculous.
- It can be spun that way.
- That we condone prostitution? - Yeah.
- It can't be spun that way.
- Okay.
- You think it can? - I just did.
All right.
All right, would you check if C.
's in her office? Toby, it's not like the entire exhibit is anti-American.
Hang on, it's not like any of the exhibit is anti-American.
I can't believe I have to have this conversation with you of all people.
I don't know what "me of all people" means, but - Aren't you standing by the NEA? - I'm not.
This is different.
- How? - It is.
The president was asked to speak which is the only reason I can have you sitting here.
Something's come up, and I'm done if you're done.
- We appreciate your time.
- I appreciate yours.
- Can I call later today? - Please.
- How you doing? - Fine.
- I just came from seeing Amy Gardner.
- How did it go? - I showed her who's boss.
- Who did it turn out to be? It's still unclear, but let me ask, the U.
treaty, Vienna? If we have to make a to-do about it being forced prostitution is there a chance it can be spun that we're condoning prostitution? - How much of a chance? - It'll happen.
- Amy will make it happen.
- Yeah.
Well, this is a whole new thing, then.
Leo told me.
- Close the door.
- Told you what? Close the door.
There was a presumptive positive on some cattle in Nebraska.
- What does that mean? - We wait 72 hours for a test.
- A disease? - Yeah.
- You're kidding me.
- No.
- Mad Cow? - Yeah.
- Oh, my God, you're kidding me.
- Really, no.
Well, I guess if the door's closed, we're not saying anything yet.
- That's why we're talking.
- What do you think? We have an extra $ 1.
5 billion we weren't counting on.
- What? - There's an extra 1.
5 billion.
In Qumar, when a woman's raped she's beaten by her husband and sons as punishment.
So we should talk about how to spend the 1.
5 billion they're giving us.
So should we tell anybody? All right, unfunded mandates.
This is where the federal government forces localities to do stuff but isn't interested in paying the bill.
- Don't give me the grumbles.
According to Frank Segal, Danville, Virginia, with a population of 55,000 spent 13,800 hours and $ 167,000 complying with the Disabilities Act.
Should employees in wheelchairs work in the parking lot? Segal thinks it's unfair that the federal government How much would it cost the federal government to amend the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act to cover all unfunded mandates? Tens of billions, I would think.
Find out for sure and then tell Segal to sit down and shut up.
- Anything else? - No.
- Thank you, Mr.
- Thank you, sir.
So paint a picture for me, would you? We find the source of the problem, which will be the feed.
- We buy the cattle and slaughter them.
- How many? - Tens of thousands.
- That's live cattle.
What about beef? FSIS will do a Class-1 recall and get it off the shelves, not that they'd need to.
Nobody's gonna buy beef for a couple of years.
That's a $ 150 billion industry.
What's the West gonna do for a living? This generation of ranchers is done.
They won't get back on their feet.
People have known about this disease.
They're still eating beef.
Because it's been across the ocean.
Once we announce a positive, steak houses are done, fast food is done.
And then the corn and soybean growers, right? The dominoes don't end on this.
- Any good news? - For fishermen.
We've got frightened parents, rising food prices, public panic, massive layoffs and something new, wondering when the next case is gonna happen.
- The most costly disruptions - Yeah? always when something we take completely for granted stops working for a minute.
- Okay.
- Thank you, Mr.
Do you know when we passed the Clean Water Act? - No.
- How can you not? - My water's clean.
I don't ask questions.
- What'd I say? - I wasn't really listening.
- All right.
Thank you.
Yes, sir.
- You sure there's nothing you need? - No.
- You know, Charlie - Yeah.
history can't be reduced to dates and names.
Well, I'm pretty sure this final can.
I'm starting you out with the speech George Perkins Marsh used in 1845 to rouse the agricultural community of Rutland, Vermont and then you'll need to study on the word"ecology" coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel.
I'm being punished.
It's better in the original German, but obviously, the translation will be fine.
- Sam.
- Sam, how you doing? Good, good.
Thanks for coming down.
Come on back.
I've got a joke the president can do on telling people not to wear seat belts.
He didn't tell people that.
He should say,"Maybe I should go back to concealing my health.
" That's good.
He can use it at the Rotary Club.
Josh Lyman shouldn't joke about Rotarians.
They're good people.
He feels bad about that.
- They volunteer their time.
- He'll apologize.
- I'm a Rotarian, my dad's a Rotarian.
- My dad's an Elk.
Elks are okay.
Anticipating this might become a thing.
I want to float the idea of a national seat-belt law.
What's the Democratic leadership gonna say? - They'll say no.
- Why? Democratic leadership doesn't do damage control for the president.
It's about more than damage control.
Only 68 percent of drivers wear their seat belts.
We get that up to 90 percent, we save 5000 lives a year.
If kids eat spinach, they'll be as strong as Popeye.
We've done driver safety, food drives, physical fitness.
- Who? - The Rotary Club.
- He really is gonna apologize, Tom.
- Sam.
Secondary seat-belt laws don't work.
You can only fine someone if you stop them for something else.
- It's time for a tough law.
- To make up for a bonehead comment? Governors don't like it.
It's federalism run amuck.
Governors don't vote in Congress.
Congressmen aren't gonna vote for it either.
Okay, then, it's a shorter meeting than I thought it was gonna be.
You won't catch a Rotarian not wearing his seat belt.
- An Elk, maybe.
- Yeah.
Leo wanted you to know the OMB's gonna do a quick report on expanding unfunded mandates.
It doesn't mean anything, but they're doing it anyway.
- My tax dollars, hard at work.
- I'll be at my desk.
- Donna, you've worked as a prostitute.
- Yeah? - Let's just say.
- Okay.
Why should what you do be against the law? You're not allowed to buy and sell people.
- You're renting out your body.
- Not allowed to do that either.
- Fashion models do.
- It's different.
Only because we say it's different.
Get a massage, isn't it a matter of degrees? Lots of things are.
Wouldn't legalizing prostitution allow women to unionize and get access to social services and health care and create some control? - You think if you make it legal prostitutes will want everybody to know they're prostitutes? - What? - The rare, valid point.
I'll be back on my street corner.
Okay, round two.
I'm Toby Ziegler, I'll be your referee.
I'm Barney Lang, national commander.
- We spoke on the phone.
- Yes.
Please meet Ed Ramsey and Ronald Kruckshank.
- These are two of our regional directors.
- Welcome to the White House.
Been here before.
My unit was invited by Franklin Roosevelt.
That chair used to be over there.
It's nice to meet you.
Before we start, could I hit you up for a personal favor? I don't think the president's available for pictures today.
No, it's my buddy Arthur Holly.
He's been in a wheelchair because he lost his left leg and the wheelchair is falling apart.
We've been doing pretty good with duct tape but the guy could use a new one, and Medicaid is dragging its feet on this.
Leave me his information.
I can make a phone call for you.
- I appreciate that, son, thank you.
- Okay.
Tell me one point you find most offensive and would like pulled from the exhibit.
- There are a number of points.
- What's at the top? Sections that have the overreaching message of a vengeful America and a victimized Japan.
You don't want to ignore effects of the bomb.
We don't want to ignore facts but, in that particular case, we don't agree with their version of the facts.
The 63,000? They say 63,000 American lives would've been lost if we'd invaded.
Marshall told Truman a ground offensive would take the lives of at least 250,000.
There's some evidence to suggest that Marshall told Truman that.
Some estimates say 150,000, some say 268,000.
There are discrepancies.
I didn't see you there.
This is C.
I'm Barney Lang.
Ed Ramsey, Ronald Kruckshank.
Good to meet you.
- You need anything? - I just came by to listen.
I wanna put you in a room with the exhibit directors from the Smithsonian.
- Can I do it today? - Sure.
Stay by a phone.
- Can I interrupt for a second, Toby? - Yeah.
Ramsey, I saw in your information you were in the 10th Armored Division.
First Class, 10th Armored Division, Third Army, Second World War.
- You fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
- I did.
My unit broke through the German 7th army's buffer which was critical in winning Bastogne.
That was the moment we beat the Nazis on the Western front.
That was a hell of a moment.
I have a granddaughter like you.
She's a chemist.
- Can I ask you to imagine something? - I suppose.
Imagine if you weren't as successful as you were.
Imagine, say, that Hitler had taken Antwerp and we'd lost the Battle of the Bulge and Germany held the Western front.
It wouldn't have mattered.
The Russians crushed them on the Eastern front.
They wouldn't have won the war.
No, but even if the Russians kicked them out of Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria they could've held on to France, maybe Italy, certainly defended Germany.
It's six decades later.
While they didn't conquer Europe Nazis exist as a recognized government in some small corner of Europe.
- That would never have happened.
- Really? They killed a quarter of my unit.
They killed a third of my classmates from Erasmus High School.
- We would never have allowed - We did it in Cambodia.
, knock it off.
You're protesting because you think the Smithsonian doesn't pay proper respect to what you and the soldiers of the 10th Armored, Third Army risked and lost your lives for six decades ago.
How would you feel, in the hypothetical I just described if I told you that at my press briefing I'm announcing we were selling tanks, missiles and fighter jets to the Nazis? Excuse me.
Step outside.
Look If I was in Qumar, I wouldn't be allowed to say,"Shove it up your ass" but since I'm not, shove it up your ass, Toby.
You really want to talk about the lawsuit in Colorado? You hear about the lawyer who opened a chain of dry cleaners? Press your lawsuit while you wait.
There was a better joke in there someplace, right? - Probably not.
Sir - Doctrine of Sovereign lmmunity.
Can't sue the king.
We brought it from England.
He's not immune from the court of public opinion.
Forgot that one.
- The RNC will have a press conference.
- They have one when I sneeze.
We need to come out for a strong national seat-belt law.
- Congress won't pass it.
- We don't need the law.
Just come out for it.
It'll end the question of where you stand.
People know.
If they don't, they can ask.
- You were governor of New Hampshire - I was for it then.
I never did anything, because nobody wanted it.
Why waste time and capital? C.
will get asked about it.
I can't be responsible every time somebody irrationally twists my meaning.
People are responsible for themselves.
Today's cars are safer than they've ever been.
They've all got air bags, seat belts and they're crash-tested from here till Tuesday.
All that's left is personal behavior and bad luck.
I'm not responsible for either.
If Mrs.
Landingham was here, she'd say the exact same thing.
- Yes, sir.
- I don't blame this woman for suing me.
I'm not a king, not sure the law should treat me like one, though I don't mind.
I'm not blaming her.
She's got to go someplace with her grief and her anger.
The ones who should be horsewhipped are the ones exploiting her grief for political gain, and I'm not getting down with them.
- Let Congress pass that law, I'll sign it.
- Sir? - Yeah, let's go.
Get Leo.
- Thank you, Mr.
Good evening, Mr.
Isn't there a joke with lawsuits and dry cleaners? I've been working on it all day.
You've been working on other stuff too, right? - Yeah.
- Good evening, sir.
Okay, what do we think? When do you tell the public? - I think right now.
- I think when you know something.
Absolute confirmation must be the rule when talking about public panic.
Are we sure there'll be public panic if we're only saying there's a chance? - We think, maybe, usually it's negative.
- I do.
We're not talking about sushi, it's hamburgers, and I'm not kidding around.
These things, the everyday American things, the 99-cent things that when you suddenly have to be afraid of them, strike at our equilibrium.
Democrats are not exactly loved by the beef industry to begin with.
Are we gonna get killed for causing false panic? What we say now will be measured against the facts the consequences of which will be far worse if we don't say anything.
- I disagree.
- Then pretend the cow has MS.
No, I don't think I will.
Something going on? They can hear you.
They're standing in front of you.
That was a bad analogy.
I apologize.
What I meant was the public will not forgive a president who withheld information that could've helped them or saved lives.
Second, in a crisis, people need to feel like soldiers, not victims.
Third, information breeds confidence, silence breeds fear.
That's my argument.
- If it comes from the president - It shouldn't.
- Not even the White House.
- From Health and Human Services.
- Not the secretary, midlevel.
- That's what we'll do, then.
- Thank you, sir.
- Toby.
What's going on with the Smithsonian? - It'll be fine, sir.
- Where are you leading them? Not to turn a blind eye toward the dark periods in our history but there's a time and place for that, and this isn't it.
- You're changing.
- No, I'm not.
- Yes, you are.
- A very, very little bit.
President, could you point me in the right direction on something? One of the vets who was here has a buddy whose wheelchair's fallen apart.
Who can get something done overnight at Medicaid? We gotta straighten out Medicaid.
After the Civil War, veterans had to come to D.
to get their pensions.
They had to visit the office.
They waited for a clerk to look through records until their papers were found.
Know what the papers were bound with? - No.
- Red tape.
- That's where it comes from.
- Didn't know that.
Go and apologize to C.
for whatever you did.
- I didn't do anything.
- Like that matters.
Thank you, sir.
What's next? - What? - You know, sir that story about red tape and Medicaid was interesting, but .
- What? - Nothing.
You have economic advisers in the Roosevelt Room.
- Interesting but what? - He just wanted a wheelchair.
- Toby's trying to get him a wheelchair.
- I forgot.
I forgot.
Get the information.
I'll make the call myself.
Maybe the guy can wheel around on a book by German biologist Ernst Haeckel.
Get the information and the director of the CMSO on the phone.
Yes, sir.
- I'm sorry, sir? - When we passed the Clean Water Act.
Thank you, sir.
- You know nothing about the Visigoths.
- Yes, sir.
- And I know everything.
- Yes, sir.
What are you doing here? Your office said you were here.
Eleanor Roosevelt once made a speech to the U.
General Assembly saying that we should decriminalize prostitution.
Eleanor Roosevelt was the one who liked hats, right? The undersecretary for Global Affairs and Regina Pierce will sit with our legal adviser at the U.
, look at alternative language.
- I heard.
- So.
- Indeed.
- That's right.
Are you walking me back to my office? How is making prostitution illegal not suppressing women's rights? How is making heroin use illegal not suppressing a heroin user's rights? - It is, but heroin is bad for you.
- So's being a prostitute.
How can I not call you a hypocrite when you say the government shouldn't tell women what to do with their bodies? Exercise some self-control, I guess.
Prostitution is about the subjugation of women by men for profit.
- Profit goes to the women.
- In some cases.
But I know of no girl who says,"I want to be a prostitute when I grow up.
" They're forced to do it out of financial circumstances.
Dire economic need is a form of coercion.
But the guy who steals my stereo does it for the same reason.
And he's going to jail.
Because he broke into my apartment and stole my stereo and nobody wants that, but you can't say that about the other thing.
Forget, for a second, that it's a women's issue.
The law isn't a deterrent.
Prostitutes advertise in the Yellow Pages.
Aren't we just serving to create more criminals in a criminal environment? Why did you come here? To tell you about the thing.
- The U.
? - Yeah.
- I'd heard.
- I didn't know that.
- Why didn't you call? - I'm sorry? Why didn't you call me on the phone? Your office is on the way home.
- It's 5:00.
- Yeah.
You go home at 5:00? I just stopped by.
- Are you dating your assistant? - No.
- I heard you might be.
- I'm not.
- She's cute.
- She's my assistant.
- Are you dating Joey Lucas? - No.
- She's not your assistant.
- I know.
You know the thing with guys like you? - Why are we talking about this? - Because you stopped by.
I'm a visible guy, people say things about me.
People write things.
And what I do reflects on the president.
Nice save.
- I didn't make that up.
- Okay.
What's the thing about guys like me? What's the thing with guys like me? You want to get hit over the head.
- I have to go.
- See you.
Taxi! What the hell?! It was a water balloon! What are you, 15 years old? You almost hit me in the head! The briefing begins in a few moments.
Please take your seats.
Hey, Nancy.
I understand you're troubled by the arms sale.
The Nazis were a bad analogy.
We're not fighting a war with Qumar.
Well, this isn't the point, but we will.
Of course we'll be fighting a war with Qumar one day, and you know it.
At least we'll be familiar with the weapons they're using.
We need Khalifa Air Base, we refuel there and we keep AWACS radar.
We don't need it, it's convenient.
We don't need it.
We've got Turkey, Bahrain, Diego Garcia.
Qumar's convenient.
- Yes, it's convenient.
- They beat women, Nancy.
The only reason they keep Qumari women alive is to make more Qumari men.
What do you want me to do? Instead of selling the guns to them, shooting the guns at them.
Not to change the subject but how do we have moral credibility when we talk about gun control and making sure guns don't get to the wrong people? What the hell are we defining as the right people? In the real world, we can't isolate our enemies.
I know the real world, I don't suggest we isolate them.
- You suggest we eliminate them.
- I have a briefing.
- You - I'm not suggesting anything.
- I don't suggest foreign policy.
- You are right now.
It's the 21 st century, Nancy, the world's gotten smaller.
I don't know how we can tolerate this kind of suffering anymore when all it does is continue the cycle of anti-American hatred.
- But that's not the point.
- What's the point? The point is that apartheid was an East Hampton clambake compared to what we laughingly refer to as the life these women lead.
If we had sold M1-A1 s to South Africa, you'd have set the building on fire.
Thank God we never needed to refuel in Johannesburg! It's a big world, C.
And everybody has guns.
And I'm doing the best I can.
They're beating the women, Nancy.
Good evening, we have two birthdays today, so we have cake.
One cake.
It's nice to share.
Before I take questions, a late addition to Monday's schedule.
The president will be at the Smithsonian exhibit opening commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
That's 3 in the afternoon, more information Monday morning.
Labor Secretary Carl Reed will brief from this podium in one hour on our school-to-work initiative.
There'll be a briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services by USDA Director David Reingold.
Tuesday, you'll be briefed at the Pentagon.
The DOD will announce we've renewed our lease another 10 years in Qumar.
I understand they've promised to paint and add new carpet.
A delegation from State and the U.
N will be sitting down to go over some last-minute language for Vienna and for that trip, we'll have your schedules ready next week.
- Who's got a question? - Will you tell us what Mr.
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