West Wing
Talking Points

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Trade (And Intellectual) Deficits

Get me an aspirin, stat! Sorry, wrong crap-ass show.

When we return from commercials, C.J. is ushering several reporters, including Brock, into her office. She tells them that she's about to give them a very generous gift for Christmas, as well as Arbor Day. Quite the scoop C.J. thinks she's serving for dessert today, apparently. They want to know if it's about Brussels, but she says it's about the FCC business. C.J. crows that she has learned that the reason for the choice of 39.37% is that one of the companies already hits precisely the 39.37% mark! All of the reporters stare at her like they don't get what's so interesting about this. Frankly, I don't either, and I'm having it presented to me in a convenient scripted format with dramatic lighting and a score. C.J. reiterates, as if they all did not hear her, that the FCC has set this number so as not to punish companies already in violation of previous regulations. The shock! The horror! They still don't care, and Brock wants to know if he can ask about Brussels now. Hee. I love it when someone has the nerve not to know what the staff is all frizzled about. C.J. tries to get them back on the consolidation story, but they all say that if it's going to be covered, their business sections will cover it. She continues trying to make a giant federal case out of it, but nothing doing. C.J. finally leans back in her chair, looks disgusted, and snorts that their lack of interest can only be because they all have "corporate owners" they're afraid of pissing off. They deny it. She acts insulting and tries to tell them again what they should be covering. It must be a relief to them to have C.J. there to tell them what their ethical obligations are. She's like the angel you see in a movie sitting on someone's shoulder, only taller and more self-important.

Elsewhere, Josh is receiving a fresh report on the ever-increasing number of tractors at the farmer protest. Josh tells Ed and Larry that they just need to keep the tractors away from Jed. He asks how they're doing selling the bill, and Ed and Larry tell him that it's rough, because Democrats are terrified of losing jobs in this economy. Would that be the new economy, or the old economy? Or would it be the new old economy? Or maybe the old new economy?

Leo, meanwhile, is talking to Fitz about going along with the Congressional delegation heading shortly for the Middle East. Fitz isn't sure he needs to go; Leo says that POTUS wants him there. Fitz agrees at least to talk to Jed about it, and Leo promises to get him an appointment that afternoon. When Fitz has left, Leo asks about the meeting with JCN, and Josh delivers the bad news that things look grim, unless you "write computer code and live in suburban Bombay." Or "Mumbai," if you like to call cities what the people who live in them actually call them. You would think a guy might know that little fact before he entered into international negotiations on this level, but hey, I'm just the recapper. Josh doesn't watch enough quality reality TV to know as much about world cities as some of us do, I guess. Anyway, Josh confirms that, indeed, the jobs are going. Moreover, the CWA is going to be arriving anytime, and they're going to rake Josh as well. Josh starts to wonder aloud whether he disappointed Leo, and Leo assures Josh that he was sent in to close a deal, and he closed it, so all is well. Josh says that they need a strategy for handling the job loss with the Congress and the union. He's got a few ideas for things they could offer, like protectionist purchasing policies, which Leo writes off as a waste of money. When Josh goes on talking about how the purchasing preferences wouldn't be so bad, because they can actually afford to throw a little business to American workers, Leo goes into a big "your suit was made in China" thing that would work really well, assuming Josh is in tenth grade and has never thought about the implications of globalization in all his life, ever, and thus has less well-developed opinions about it than, say, Kathie Lee Gifford. Leo blows it off some more, and tells Josh that he'll just have to tell the union that "sometimes, you have to destroy to create." I'm sure the union will enjoy paying the mortgage with bouncing checks inscribed with that bit of wisdom.

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West Wing

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