Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 3, Episode 13 - Episode #3.13 - full transcript

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

SEASON III
EPISODE 13

Welcome to Last Week Tonight.
I'm John Oliver.

Thank you so much for joining us.
Time for a quick recap of the week.

And we begin in Venezuela.
AKA North South America.

They have been in an economic crisis,
and things have escalated sharply.

It's been 12 straight days
of violent clashes here in Venezuela.

On one side,
students and the middle class.

On the other,
police and pro-government groups.

Twelve days of violent clashes.

That is a terrible situation,
and an even worse Christmas carol.



What is wrong with Venezuela ?

The short answer is, everything.

The low price of oil, which accounts
for 96 percent of Venezuela's exports,

has triggered an economic collapse,
causing shortages of food and medicine.

And their president, Nicolas Maduro,
is not handling it at all well.

He suggested punishing business
owners who've ceased operations

by jailing them
and seizing their factories.

An idle factory will be a factory
handed over to the people !

But we're going to do it, fuck it !
The time has come to do it !

Wait ! No good, well-thought-out
government action

has ever included
the words 'fuck it' !

Lincoln did not abolish slavery
by saying:

"Fuck it ! You're free ! Fuck it.
What are they gonna do ? Fuck it."

And one of Maduro's plans to cope
with electricity shortages isn't better.



President Nicolas Maduro
asked women to stop drying their hair.

I always think a woman looks better

when she runs her fingers through
her hair and lets it dry naturally.

It's just an idea I have.

What ?
"It's just an idea you have" ?

Un-have it then,
because that is next level creepy.

He saved energy
through millions of Venezuelans

immediately turning off their TVs,
saying, "This stays off forever.

I cannot risk hearing that man talk
about women's grooming again."

It's no wonder that in a recent poll
70 percent of Venezuelans

are in favor
of Maduro's removal from power.

Which is what makes what he did
this week especially troubling.

I have called
for the armed forces and militia

to hold military exercises
to prepare us for any scenario.

His citizens are starving, and Maduro
decided it would be a great time

to spend money on the biggest military
exercise in Venezuelan history,

which is bound
to inflame tensions even more.

So it seems to me Maduro
has got two choices:

either step down
and make his people happy,

or at the very least, make sure those
tanks are firing loaves of bread.

It might seem stupid,
but it's just an idea I have.

So, let's move on now,
let's move on to Canada.

What you'd get if US and Britain had
a baby they abandoned in the snow.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau

has been enjoying a bit of a honeymoon
since assuming office six months ago,

with most news coverage focusing on
events like that time he held 2 pandas.

Which is pretty cute.

It's no the Rock holding two
French bulldogs in a swimming pool.

But it's close, it's close.

But this week, Trudeau's grace period
came to a screeching halt,

as Canada
was consumed by "Elbowgate",

a scandal concerning Trudeau
"manhandling" a Canadian MP

and elbowing another during an
altercation in the house of commons.

So, so what happened exactly ?

Now watch this, the man in the front
is the conservative whip,

he can't by a group of NDP MPs,
including leader Tom Mulcair.

On the left, the prime minster
comes striding over to intervene,

he has words with Mulcair.

At the same time he clearly also makes
contact with MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau.

I guess that's a brawl
by Canadian standards.

Although to be honest in New York,
we call that shopping at Trader Joe's.

But still, Trudeau absolutely
should not have done that.

He clearly knew it, given how quickly
he took to the floor to apologize.

I admit I came in physical contact
with a number of members

as I extended my arm in,

including someone behind me
who I did not see.

If anyone feels that they were
impacted by my actions

I completely apologize,

it is not my intention
to hurt anyone,

it certainly wasn't, it is
my intention to get this vote done.

Stammering out an apology that goes
on to receive a standing ovation.

That clip may as well just be
the new Canadian national anthem.

But the members of the opposition were
not ready to accept Trudeau's apology.

I will move that the matter
of the physical molestation

be referred to the standing committee
and house affairs.

Come on, don't use that word.

There is a definition of "molest"

that means
"to bother, interfere with, annoy,"

but it's the second most unpleasant
"m" word in the English language

after "moist."

I said it ! I'd wash my mouth out with
soap but that would make it all moist.

No, I said it again !

That outrage led Trudeau to issue
a second apology on the house floor,

followed by a third apology at an
event celebrating the official apology

he'd made for the 1914
Komagata Maaru incident,

at which he, and this is true,

apologized because his elbowing
might take away a little bit in the news

from the apology that he
was supposed to be celebrating.

And when he returned
to the House of Commons,

you'll never guess what he did.

I am apologizing
and asking for members

to understand how contrite and how
regretful I am with my behavior.

For fuck's sake, enough !

There may be no clearer difference
between the United States and Canada

than the fact that in the US,

presidential candidates write books
called "No Apology", while in Canada,

Trudeau may be expected
to spend the remainder of his term

apologizing for the existence
of his arm wherever he goes.

And now this.

And now, John McLaughlin
angrily introduces discussion topics.

Issue one, two islands,
28 pages and one king.

Issue two, Chinese bridges.

Issue three, Michelle in Qatar.

Secrets away.

Civil furor.

Meet me in Singapore.

A problem of poop.

Hujambo Obama !

Wildlife woe.

Give me my money !

Bye bye Syria ?

Speaker who ?

Lifeboat for Lula ?

Barack back Biden ?

Message in a tank.

Cyber-kleptos.

I'm here to stay.

Bye bye !

Moving on.

Our main story this week concerns
presidential primaries and caucuses.

The electoral foreplay
which will culminate

in the mass balloon ejaculations
of this summer's conventions.

Both parties nearly have their nominee,
and it looks like America

will be choosing between Donald Trump,
America's walking, talking brush fire,

and Hillary Clinton, the woman
who exhibits either too much

or too little of every human quality,
depending on who you ask.

Which is not to say that the
democrats' primary process is over

as we saw in Nevada last weekend,
it is very much still raging.

This is ridiculous. This whole
process has been screwed up.

Emotions ran high at the democratic
state convention in Las Vegas

after Clinton took more delegate wins
than Bernie Sanders.

Holy shit. Usually when
a crowd is that angry in Vegas,

it's because they realized there are
no elephants in Cirque du Soleil,

just a bunch
of terrifying nightmare perverts.

But not just Nevada caused frustration
over how delegates are assigned.

Thanks to an odd quirk
in the democrats' system,

there have been news reports
like this...

We're putting up a graphic.

Bernie Sanders
wins 56 to 44 percent in Wyoming.

The delegates rewarded:
Hillary Clinton, 11, Bernie Sanders, 7.

Why does the Democratic Party
even have voting booths ?

- Why ?
- This system is so rigged.

We have voting booths

for the same reason
that Friendly's has restaurant booths.

So that we can have privacy while we
choose from an unappetizing menu.

And it is not just the democrats.
When Donald Trump won Louisiana,

beating Ted Cruz by more than
3 percent, he was upset to discover

that Cruz could potentially get
as many as ten more delegates.

Or, as he put it...

I end up winning Louisiana
and then when everything is done,

I find out I get less delegates than
this guy that got his ass kicked ?

Give me a break.

The thing is,
I get why he's annoyed.

And there is no clearer piece of
evidence that our system is broken

no more thoroughly dead canary
in the coalmine

than when Donald Trump
is actually making sense.

Because when you see results like that
the process does feel counterintuitive.

So we thought we'd ask:
why do the parties operate this way ?

For many years, they didn't.

Until 50 years ago,
most states didn't have primaries,

and candidates were chosen
by party insiders at the convention.

But in 1968, that system broke down,
when the Democratic Party leadership

picked Hubert Humphrey, despite the
fact he hadn't competed in a primary.

Democrats were pissed off.
And the convention was chaos.

A lot of pushing. A man being pushed,
they're gonna knock that over.

The man is a delegate.
They're asking for silence.

There's a priest in here,
dozens of reporters,

and the man who got involved in it all
is very calmly smoking a cigarette.

He's not just smoking any cigarette,
he's smoking a Chesterfield.

"Once you've turned democracy into
a riot, you deserve a Chesterfield."

In the years that followed,
both parties reformed their processes

to give their rank-and-file members
more of a say.

But many of the details
were left up to state leaders.

Which might help explain why we have
an erratic clusterfuck every 4 years.

Almost every part of this process
is difficult to defend.

While most states hold primaries,
in all of these states,

one or both parties hold caucuses.

Which is a process whereby you
typically have to turn up

to a certain place at a certain time,
like a school gymnasium at 7 pm,

attend a party meeting
that can take hours, and then vote.

If you work at night,
or you can't get a babysitter,

or you don't have transportation,
you can be frozen out.

That is probably why while republican
primary turnout in 2012 was 19 percent,

their turnout for caucuses
averaged just 3 percent.

Which is terrible. If you have
three percent turnout at an orgy,

it's basically just you masturbating
next to a table of uneaten snacks.

So generally you are lucky if you
live in a state that has a primary.

Unless you're a democrat
in Washington State,

where things
get a little more complicated.

In Washington State,
we have both caucuses.

Can anybody else
speak up on their candidate ?

And presidential primaries,
where you cast a ballot in private.

But democrats
ignored the primary from day one.

It's true. The democrats' presidential
primary in Washington doesn't count.

They have one,
and it's this Tuesday,

but all the pledged delegates were
decided at their caucus, months ago.

You know your awful friend

who says he doesn't vote because he
"doesn't feel like his vote counts" ?

If he's a Washington democrat
participating in the primary,

he's still awful, but he is right.

And then there's the problem
of how the delegates get divided up

which is key, because you're not
directly voting for a candidate.

You're voting to help
determine the delegates

who'll attend
the national party convention

and vote for a candidate
on your behalf.

And some states have
even more steps in between.

Just look at what led up
to last weekend's events in Nevada.

They had a caucus back in February.
Which Hillary Clinton won.

But that caucus only determined 23
out of their 35 regular delegates.

As for the remaining 12, were decided
by delegates at the state convention,

who were chosen by the delegates
at county conventions in April,

who were chosen in those February
caucuses, which remember Hillary won.

At those county conventions,
more Bernie supporters showed up,

so they had an advantage going
into the state convention.

By that time, Hillary supporters
had managed to mobilize their turnout,

putting numbers
in that room basically even.

Both sides began fighting
to disqualify one another's delegates,

over technicalities such as "failing to
register as democrats by May the 1st",

a deadline set after it had
already passed, at the convention,

by the credentials committee.

At this point, whoever you support,
you probably feel like this !

Exactly. I just don't know
if there's a better summation

of this primary process so far
than that sound.

Politifact looked into the charges
of "rigging" in Nevada

and found no clear evidence the
state party "hijacked" the process.

You can disagree with that
as Bernie supporters will

in the comments section
below this video,

alongside hurtful remarks about
my appearance.

Like: "Look !
It's British Millhouse."

Or "he looks like someone who
says: "My parents are my best friends"

but who's also an orphan."

Or "did someone just Benjamin-Button
Henry Kissinger ?"

All of which statements
Politifact also rates as true.

But the larger point Politifact
made regarding Nevada, is:

"the arcane party structures"

"don't reflect how most people
assume presidential selection works."

And that in itself
is a huge problem.

Any competition
should have clear rules.

You don't get to the end
of a football game:

"Okay: who found the most eggs ?"

Wait. What ? That's what
we were supposed to be doing ?

Why didn't someone tell me that
at the start ? I only have 5 eggs.

This patchwork of convoluted systems
would be annoying enough.

Each party also has its own way
of putting its thumb on the scale.

For democrats,
it's "superdelegates".

15 percent of the total delegates

to this summer's democratic
convention are unpledged.

These are elected officials,
former presidents,

and assorted party bigwigs
called superdelegates.

They can vote for
whichever candidate they want,

regardless of who won
in their state or district.

The delegates are "super"

in the way the kids
on "My Super Sweet 16" are super:

party-obsessed, widely resented,
untethered from all responsibility.

The theory behind was
that the party leaders could step in

if they didn't like
the way things were heading.

Whenever Debbie Wasserman Schultz,
chair of DNC, is asked about them,

she insists that superdelegates
would never do that:

We have party activists,
elected officials

and other leaders
that are a part of our process.

Never determined
the outcome of our nominee.

If they're not going to make
a difference, why having them at all ?

You're keeping rat poison in a jar
next to the sugar, saying:

"It hasn't been a problem yet !"
That might technically be true,

but is this really the best
system you can think of ?

Republicans have their way of diluting
the power of primary votes.

Delegates are required to reflect
the state's choice in the first round.

After that, they become "unbound
delegates" and can vote for whomever.

Pennsylvania takes
this even further:

out of their 71 delegates, 54 are
unbound, even on the first ballot.

While these delegates
are elected by voters,

those voters may not know
what they're voting for.

If you're a GOP voter
you may well know

which candidate you are choosing
when you step into the voting booth.

When it comes to choosing delegates
to the presidential convention,

there's no way for you to know which
ones support which candidates

because it's simply not listed.

Like you vote, but who are
you voting for ? You have no idea.

That makes no fucking sense.

If "Dancing with the Stars"
had a system where,

instead of voting directly for
Paige Vanzant or Ginger Zee,

you had to vote for Doug or Karen
to vote on your behalf,

there would be riots in the streets.

This year, North Dakota
republicans just said fuck it,

and had neither
a caucus nor a primary.

The party just chose
28 delegates themselves.

And in explaining
why primaries aren't that important,

one of those delegates
gave the whole game away.

In previous years, we've
used primaries to privately give us

an indication of the preference
of the popular election,

but the delegates choose the nominee,
not the voters in the primaries.

He's treating the more than 27 million
people who've voted so far

like a parent treats a kid
with a toy lawnmower.

"Great job, Billy !
You did it all on your own !"

"Now, step aside,
Daddy's coming through."

To be fair to both parties,
they're basically private clubs.

They could give the nomination to
whichever comes first alphabetically,

or whichever one can squeeze a frog
the hardest without crushing it.

But, if you play by a system
of complex, opaque rules

and that you could use to
your advantage, even if you don't,

you are going to alienate voters.

This is a system which clearly
needs wholesale reform.

Once the system produces a winner,
the conversation tends to move on.

And if you need any more proof of
that, just listen to Trump this month.

I said it's a rigged system.

But now I don't say it anymore
because I won, okay. It's true.

Now I don't care.

It's clear, nobody wants to change
the weird rules if they win.

The producers of "The Martian"
are complaining about the rules

by which the Golden Globes gave them
"Best picture, comedy or musical" ?

No ! They're just busy writing another
movie as sidesplittingly hilarious

as Matt Damon potato-farming
in space for two hours.

It would clearly behoove both parties
to take a long, hard look at this

because they got lucky this time.

Whether you like these
two candidates or not,

the party nominees will coincidentally
be the people with the most votes.

Trump currently has a lead of nearly
4 million over his closest competitor

and Hillary leads Sanders
by over three million.

Sanders supporters might argue that
doesn't include caucus votes.

Washington Post
estimated the rest,

they found that she would still lead
by 2.9 million votes.

Even if you multiply all those
estimated caucus votes by seven,

even if you give Bernie a bonus of ten
thousand extra votes in every state,

even if you tack on an extra
hundred thousand votes

just for shits and giggles,
she's still comfortably ahead.

I know Bernie supporters,
I can hear you typing right now...

I can hear you typing that I look like
an angry toucan funded by Shillary,

but that doesn't make that
any less true.

There's no guarantee that

the candidate with the most votes
will win next time.

And if they don't,

all the flaws we just documented
will be exposed yet again.

We get angry about the primary process
during the primary process,

when it's impacting
the candidate we care about.

But the middle of the game is the
worst time to change the rules.

If everyone is as angry as
they say they are right now,

let's together, pick a date to write
an email to the chair of each party,

and remind them,
politely, to fix this.

I propose February 2nd.

That will be easy to remember,
because it's Groundhog Day.

Which does seem appropriate.

Unless this primary
process is fixed,

we are all destined to live through the
same nightmare scenario

over and over again until
the end of fucking time.

And now, this...

Increasingly weird bell ringers
at the New York Stock Exchange.

Meatloaf.

Westminster Dog Show Winner
Foxcliffe Hickory Wind.

Hello Kitty. Darth Vader.

Miss Piggy.
Rafiki from the Lion King.

Two minions.

Three Smurfs.

And convicted sex offender,
Jared Fogle.

Now, finally, before we go this week,
a quick word regarding Chechnya.

The place that, when it shows up
at the beginning of an action movie,

promises you some shit
is about to go down.

Their leader is Ramzan Kadyrov,

pictured here in a t-shirt that says
"2 psycho" on it.

Which is completely appropriate, for
reasons that you will soon understand.

Kadyrov is recognized
as a brutal and corrupt strongman.

This week he was
in the news for a different reason.

Ramzan Kadyrov lost this cat.

The leader of Chechnya
addressed his Instagram followers

and asked them to help him search
for the Bengal, the breed of the pet.

So if you are living in the republic
and saw a similar animal,

now's the time to contact
the head of your region.

Yes, the entire Chechen republic

was put on notice this week because
its leader couldn't find his cat.

I'm presuming he searched
most common locations,

such as lying in a sunbeam,

or staring right at you
with murder in its eyes.

But Kadyrov's family
didn't just lose their cat.

As he put it on Instagram:
"We have completely lost our cat".

They haven't just lost
a couple paws and a tail,

they lost the whole thing.

Kadyrov being upset
about his lost cat is not good.

This is a man whose security forces
have been accused of kidnappings,

and whose Wikipedia page
has an entire section

dedicated to
"accusations of human rights abuses".

And the mere existence
of that is pretty damning.

It's like having a subsection for
"1997 Forklift DUI"

or "Aftermath of Howard University
Commencement Speech".

You don't need to know the details
to know that it cannot be good.

To get a sense of Kadyrov,
check his Instagram page.

It's not just where he
announced that he'd lost his cat.

It's also where he keeps his
1.8 million followers updated

with videos of his workout routine,
set to the finest European rave music.

Cool.

Kadyrov's basically like a can of
Monster energy drink come to life.

I cannot recommend
his Instagram feed enough.

Almost makes you forget he was
accused of beating a prisoner

with a shovel handle before
executing him, almost, but not quite.

The main thing
his Instagram demonstrates

is how much
he loves Vladimir Putin !

Look how happy he is there,
I've never been that happy.

Putin appointed Kadyrov to the
Chechen presidency in 2007.

And in return, it seems Kadyrov
is absolutely obsessed with him.

Look at him wearing this t-shirt
with Putin's face on it.

And then look at him
in this other Putin t-shirt,

and then in this other Putin t-shirt
and then in this Putin hoodie.

These are on his Instagram
and we're not even nearly done yet,

because here he is in another
Putin t-shirt,

standing next to his friend
in yet another Putin t-shirt,

and here is another one,

where everyone in the photo
is wearing a Putin t-shirt.

You just know that Kadyrov
is looking over

at his friend's sick, green
Putin t-shirt and thinking:

"I am so borrowing that",
and you'd be right,

because here he is,
wearing that exact same t-shirt.

It seems from his Instagram

the only thing that Kadyrov loves
more than Putin or Putin t-shirts,

is animals, because you can
also see spectacular images

of him holding a lion like a baby,
snoozing with a tiger,

having fun with a horse,
nuzzling a different horse,

cradling baby chicks, and holding
whatever the fuck this is.

Say what you will about Kadyrov,
and Human Rights Watch has,

but the man
knows what he wants.

He wants the return of this
evolutionary farce of a house pet.

This is a problem for all of us,

because when Kadyrov can't find
something, he goes a little nuts.

Kadyrov misplaced his phone at a big
wedding held at a museum.

The Chechen leader had more than
1 000 guests, including children,

called back to be
questioned about his phone.

Each of those interrogations began
with the guest asking Kadyrov:

"Have you tried calling phone ?
No, you're right."

"Calling back thousand guests
is better way".

But just think: if he is willing
to do that for a cell phone,

imagine what he is willing to put the
Chechen people through for a cat.

We need to find this man's fucking cat
and we need to do it yesterday.

And that is why tonight,
we are launching a campaign

to hashtag:
"find Kadyrov's cat".

It's simple: if you have seen his cat,
contact him on Twitter or Instagram.

Send him a message reading simply:
"I have seen your cat".

If you have not seen his cat,

then contact him with a message
reading: "I have not seen your cat".

And if you've seen something
that looks like his cat,

but you're not sure, take a photo,
and send it to him with the message:

"Is this your cat ?"

Those are the only three things
I'm asking you to send him.

For the good of the Chechen people
and stability in the whole region,

we have to find
this fucker's cat.

That's our show.
We are off next week, good night !

LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

END OF EPISODE 13,
SEASON III