West Wing
Mandatory Minimums

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Mandatory Minimums

Back in the Oval Office, Sam is telling Mr. Good News Happy Guy about how it costs two million dollars a day to keep incarcerated the thirty percent of federal prison inmates who are non-violent, first-time offenders doing time for drug-related crimes. Toby tells POTUS that they can sell the public on a better use for those two million dollars a day. Kiefer says, "Not if it's for treatment." Sam insists otherwise, pointing out that they can sell it if they can demonstrate that treatment prevents substance abuse. Kiefer thinks that people won't sit still long enough to hear that argument and that it takes less time to hear "just say no" and "anyone on the other side is soft on crime." Sam brings up the AMA again but is cut off by Kiefer who still insists they can't sell that argument. POTUS seems bemused that Kiefer believes that they can't "sell" science. Jed says he's hungry and that no one has convinced him of anything. Leo suggests they break for lunch and meet again in an hour. Jed, Leo, Sam and Toby all disperse in different directions, leaving Mr. Good News Happy Guy to try to find someone who will let him sit at their lunch table. Good luck, buddy.

When Sam gets back to his office, after a bit of silly chatter with Cathy about what he wants for lunch, he finds Steve, the evil Republican flunky whose last name I can't remember (or maybe it was never revealed), waiting to ambush him. Steve wants to talk to Sam but Sam insists that Josh is the guy Steve should talk to about this situation. Steve suggests that Josh isn't himself lately, citing the "take your legislative agenda and shove it up your ass" remark. Sam thinks that sounds exactly like Josh. Steve indicates his boss is incredibly angry, but Sam doesn't care and says he's tired and that Steve should go see Josh. Steve insists on staying for lunch with Sam, who had been planning to work through his lunch and get some other things done. The antique U.S. flag on the wall behind Sam's head, proudly proclaiming "Don't tread on me," must have been left there by the previous occupant of that office. Sam should get one that says, "Please, wipe your feet on my face."

Outside, next to the Tidal Basin, with the Capitol building in the background, an attractive, leggy redhead is relaxing on a picnic blanket, while Toby paces around in front of her. This, obviously, is the ex-wife. ["I dash off an email to Wing claiming an advantage if Toby likes redheads." -- Strega] She remarks on what a nice day it is; Toby seems to be in a complaining mood.

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West Wing

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