Jed encounters Charlie just outside the Oval Office. He tells Charlie, as they pedeconference toward Jed's desk, that he wants Charlie to lead the search for a new executive secretary. Jed warns him that it may take awhile before Charlie picks somebody that he likes. Charlie expresses doubts that POTUS is going to hire anybody at all yet, but says it's a step in the right direction. Charlie thanks Jed, and leaves.
The Frigid, Howling Plains of American Siberia, also known as North Dakota. Donna sits on a panel in a large meeting hall, reading a statement from the White House. The statement essentially says, "You guys figure it out yourselves," though in a more polite fashion. Essentially, the White House feels that it's a state issue and not important enough for national attention. It does make me wonder what sort of official guidelines there might be for a state to change its name. If it's not a national issue, does that mean the people of a state can vote to change its name to anything they want, and the U.S. government would just have to recognize it? "The state of Nevada will henceforth be known as Pleasure Paradise. Please make the appropriate adjustments to your records, and update our state quarter to reflect this change." Perhaps they can sell their name to corporate sponsors to balance their state budgets: "AOL/Time Warner presents West Virginia." Or maybe their mottos: "Alabama: Try Vanilla Coke." ["That sounds more like Georgia to me." -- Wing Chun]
After Donna is done with her statement, a man from the audience speaks from a podium, asking her whether she's aware that studies show that people attribute the word "north" in their state name as an indication of a snowy, cold, and flat environment, damaging their tourism trade. Donna politely observes that North Dakota's average temperature is seven degrees (Fahrenheit for you Commie metric-system lovers), and their annual snowfall is forty-two inches. A woman whines that they have the same weather as South Dakota. But North Dakota had annual tourism revenues of only $73.7 million, while South Dakota raked in more than $1 billion. Donna brings up that little landmark known as Mount Rushmore. This is such typical behavior among local governments, I've found. Many small cities (and states) just can't accept the fact that they'll never be an important tourist destination. They're just certain that if they had just the right motto, or a big convention center, or find just the right way to let everybody understand how wonderful they are, tourists would come running. I've had to sit through countless meetings in a small city desperately trying to increase tourism by promoting their many interesting local features. The problem was that they were the same local features you get in every small city, so it was a totally wasted effort. Somebody tries to get Donna to clarify the White House's position, but she explains that she's there to read a statement on behalf of the administration, and that's it.
We cut to a mess of icky, bubbling goo: a pot full of stew on a stovetop. And probably a metaphor for something. Van Morrison is playing again. Amy is sitting by the stove, doing some research. There's a knock at the door. Aha, this is her apartment after all. It's Josh, stopping by after work to partake of his woman and his stew. He actually refers to Amy as "[his] woman," but I guess it's okay because she referred to him as "[her] man" earlier. Well, it's not okay -- it's silly and childish and, again, way too cutesy. But it's not sexist or anything. They banter about the stew and about the Mets game and about Van Morrison. Amy says that Josh never told her how the meeting with Pintero went. He gives her the good news about the bill making it out of committee and getting an additional billion for child care. Amy realizes that they probably had to give the Republicans something for that.