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Stephen Colbert sees no problem with super-rich super-earning their super wealth

On the night of the vice-presidential debate, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were hamstrung by their early tape times. Anyone waiting for their take on the Joe Biden-Paul Ryan slugfest would have to wait until Monday.

That didn’t stop Colbert from discussing it briefly, even though he admitted up front. “I haven’t seen it yet. Nor will I ever – it’s the vice-presidential debate.”

He focused on the complaints from the right that the moderator was Martha Raddatz. President Barack Obama was at her wedding 21 years ago to Obama’s law school classmate -- who she divorced in 1997. 

For Colbert, it’s enough to prove a conspiracy. “He knew that panini press would pay off eventually for the running mate he hadn’t met yet,” the host said. And if the gift wasn’t enough, there was the implied social obligation to tilt the scales for Biden. After all, “What woman doesn’t love doing a favor for her ex-husband’s friends?”


Then again, who needs petty friends like Raddatz anyway? Colbert’s guest was author Chrystia Freeland, plugging her book “Plutocrats, The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.”

Of course, Colbert sees no problem with that trend. “Why is that a problem? The super-rich have super-earned all their super-wealth.”

Freeland agreed that this was the attitude among her subject group. Some argue that the tax burden should be reduced because of their voluntary contributions to their favorite causes, which presumably are more appropriate than the government’s plan for their tax dollars.

“We may not need roads or schools, but we do need the ballet,” Colbert said.

“Exactly. You may not need air traffic controllers, because you have your own private jet,” Freeland responded.

Stewart, meanwhile, focused on the low-hanging fruit: the downticket races. Like his old friend from Missouri, Senate candidate Todd Akin, and his thoughts on how the female body can protect itself from becoming pregnant if a woman is really raped.

“Yeah, the female body shuts it down if it’s legitimate rape,” Stewart said, of its magical powers. “It can repel rape sperm! It can turn ordinary rocks into beautiful gems in minutes!”

He also noted the divergent attitudes towards military service displayed by Florida candidate Allen West, who touts his own work in his TV ads, and Illinois’ Joe Walsh, who says opponent Tammy Duckworth talks about her own service too much in contrast to the “real heroes” who minimize their contributions.

“Can I be there when you tell Allen West he’s not a real hero?” Stewart hoped.

Elsewhere on "Live!", Jimmy Kimmel suggested the participants in various presidential and vice-presidential debates could be kept within stricter time limits if they were only treated like winners on award shows -- by being played off with music. After showing an example of Vice-President Joe Biden being handled in such a way, Kimmel quipped, "He didn't even have a chance to thank his agent."

And "Late Show's" David Letterman decided to lease up on Mitt Romney, turning on VP candidate Paul Ryan instead, with "Top 10 Thoughts Going Through Paul Ryan's Mind At This Moment," referring to photos of Ryan pumping iron and wearing a backwards-facing baseball cap.

"It's like the Backstreet Boys or something," said Letterman derisively of the photo shoot.

So what was Ryan's No. 1 thought during the shoot? "Maybe now people will take me seriously."

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