Josh and Swimtern come in, and Josh starts telling Jed about the aWendtment: "Our caucus has been fighting for more daycare, more after-school care, transportation subsidies to make it easier for poor women to get to good jobs. They can't justify spending...uh...." He struggles for the figures. Swimtern helps out: "JTC scores it at eleven billion over five years." Come on -- is this the same Josh who told us last week that he prepares even for meetings he doesn't want to go to? He had Swimtern do this scut work. Even if he didn't read all the details himself, I'm sure he looked over Swimtern's notes or summary or whatever. Just because he thinks the aWendtment is wrong doesn't mean he wouldn't study it and know it -- especially for a Presidential briefing. Anyway, he continues, "Eleven billion to keep Wilma Flintstone in dinosaur-skin coats while most women are struggling to find someone to take care of their child?" Jed asks, "What's the tax benefit for the typical family?" Josh thinks it's about $100 per year. Swimtern interjects: "Closer to $300 [per year], but that's not the point. A typical family of four making $68,000 can still get $1200 in child-care tax credit if the wife decides to work, but if she wants to stay at home with the kids, we don't help." Jed asks Josh: "Who's this?" Josh: "Ryan Pierce. He's interning in my office for a few months -- maybe less." Jed looks at Swimtern and asks if he's Senator Pierce's son. Swimtern says he's his nephew. Jed: "So which would you choose, Ryan, day care tax cut or this?" Swimtern replies, "Day care. But why should we choose for everybody else?" Jed asks what he would suggest. Swimtern: "Tell Wendt you understand he didn't want to support your expanding child care tax credit when there's no help for stay-at-home moms, so he should find some loophole closers we can agree upon to pay for both. He's on Ways and Means. That's where the money is...right?" Jed: "Right. Thank you." He hands a document back to Josh. Josh and Swimtern leave.
C.J. returns from her appearance on Nanny Nanny Boo Boo pretty chuffed: "That was fun!" Carol chirps that she did great. C.J.: "Sanctimonious little guttersnipe sent a great big fat one over the plate -- health-care reform! From a guy who's still on the fence about the application of leeches!" C.J. mimics batting a ball. Carol: "He wants you back." (I'm not sure if she's talking about Taylor or Ben right now -- Taylor makes more sense, but Carol can't shut up about Ben.) C.J.'s still rambling on about her triumph as Carol says, "You missed Ben. He hung around for a while but he had to get back for a meeting at Interior." C.J.: "How does he look?" Carol: "If you don't want him, can I have him?" C.J.: "Does he still have the ruffled-hair, Redford in The Way We Were kind of thing going on?" Carol hands her a note and picture that Ben left. C.J. looks at it and smiles a bit to herself, thinking, no doubt, "I did look damn good in a bikini." We are not favoured with the evidence.