West Wing
The Indians In The Lobby

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The Butterball Hotline

As Charlie and Jed walk back into the Oval Office, Jed says, "If they want the nickel-and-dime stuff, I'll tell you one thing we can do. This time of the year, there should be a hotline you can call with questions about cooking turkeys. A special 800 number, where the phones are staffed by experts." Charlie says that there is: The Butterball Hotline. Jed takes off his glasses, astonished: "Butterball has a hotline?" Wow, the Butterball people must be ecstatic with this product placement. I wonder why the name of the episode was changed? Anyway, Jed asks, "Are you kidding me?" Charlie says he isn't. Jed touches his chest lightly in the area of his heart and looks up briefly, saying, "God, I'm sorry. I love my country. Charlie, get me the number for the Butterball hotline." Charlie starts to zip off when Jed starts reading the polling data and indicates he doesn't think Charlie brought him the right poll. Jed keeps looking through it and says, "Son of a bitch...find Bruno Gianelli. Tell him I want to see him right away."

Sam meets with Bernice. He shakes her hand, saying, "How you doing, Bernie?" She politely but firmly says, "I'm not wild about people calling me 'Bernie.'" He asks what he should call her; she says "Bernice" is fine. Sammy asks, "But how will you know I'm your buddy?" She responds, "I'm okay living in the dark on that." They walk toward Sam's office as he asks her to tell him how they arrived at the current poverty standard -- by which he means the one they've been using, not the new one, which hasn't been approved yet. She says they have to sign off on the new standard because it's much more accurate. She explains, "In 1963, an Eastern European immigrant named Molly Orshansky -- who was working over in Social Security -- came up with it. Food was the most costly living expense where she came from." Sam asks, "Our cost-of-living formula for the last forty years has based on life in Poland during the Cold War?" Bernice says, "This is what I'm talking about. Food doesn't account for one third of a family's budget. Housing is more expensive than food. The current model also doesn't take into account transportation and health insurance. So let's call the current model the old model and sign off on the new model." Sam invites her to sit down.

Josh talks to Russ Angler about extraditing the adolescent teacher-killer. They're walking through the halls, down a stairway. Russ says that the kid's being held at San Vitale in Rome. Josh asks whether Russ has ever seen anything like this before. Russ points out that because the kid's a minor, it's uncharted territory. He adds that unless the eligibility papers meet all the treaty obligations, they're going to have to release the kid, and not into anyone's custody. They'll just release him. That doesn't sit well with Josh. Russ explains, "It's a provisional arrest. We don't have the paperwork right, the Foreign Minister's going to review and decline extradition. They have no grounds to hold him." He didn't break any Italian laws. Josh asks, "They're going to give him a Eurail pass and a backpack?" Russ says that the Governor has to guarantee that he's not going to seek the death penalty. Josh replies, "First of all, it's not up to the Governor. It's up to the DeKalb DA. And second of all, this is Georgia." Russ: "Then we're not getting the kid back. 'Extradition shall be refused unless the requesting party provides such assurances as the requested party considers sufficient that the death penalty shall not be imposed.' I didn't write the U.S./Italian extradition treaty." Josh comments, "This kid shoots his teacher in the head and gets life in Venice, we're all going to look like idiots. I gotta put this out before it's in the papers. What do I do now?" Russ suggests that Josh speak to the Charge d'Affaires at the Italian Embassy. Josh asks Russ to set it up today, and thanks him.

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West Wing




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