Stephen Colbert opened Monday’s Late Show in a very good mood, “the kind you get when you find a dollar on the sidewalk”, he explained, “or you realize that our children may not be doomed to a fiery hellscape”.
The pep in his step was largely because this weekend, Senate Democrats finally passed a bill to fight climate change. “Finally!” Colbert exclaimed. “Thank God we’re going to at least try to save the planet, because that is where I keep most of my stuff.”
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed 51-50 with a tie-breaking vote by Vice-President Kamala Harris, apportions nearly $400bn over 10 years in tax credits aimed at steering consumers to electric vehicles, with the goal of cutting emissions by about 40%. “So from now on we’re putting only good things into the air, like donut-flavored vape smoke,” Colbert quipped.
It will also make good on Democrats’ years-long pledge to reduce prescription drug costs for the elderly. “That is good news for the elderly,” Colbert said, “or as Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein call them, ‘those damn kids!’”
In other news, the New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman provided evidence to support a previous story that Donald Trump tried to flush shreds of White House documents down the toilet. Over the weekend, Haberman revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.
“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them (as in the Republican congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York).
“Congrats Elise! I heard the president dropped your name,” Colbert quipped.
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah recapped an extraordinary excerpt from yet another book on the Trump White House. According to an excerpt published in the New Yorker from The Divider: Trump in the White House, by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, Trump complained to his chief of staff John Kelly, a former Marine Corps general: “You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?”
“That’s right, Fox News was out there every day being like, ‘these liberals are so over the top, always comparing Trump to Hitler,’” Noah said. “Meanwhile, Trump was going ‘why won’t people treat me more like Hitler? Why not?’
“It actually got more alarming than that,” Noah continued, because Kelly reportedly pointed out that Hitler was almost assassinated three times by his military leaders. Trump replied: “No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him.”
“I don’t know why, but I feel like that information didn’t change Trump’s opinion of the German generals,” Noah said. “Knowing Trump, he was probably like, ‘Those losers tried to kill Hitler three times and they choked like a dog … you know who was able to kill Hitler on the first try? Hitler. It’s called leadership, people.’”
And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon celebrated a “big weekend” for Joe Biden, as Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, the economy added half a million new jobs, and he finally tested negative for Covid. “So he was able to leave the White House for the first time in over two weeks,” Fallon explained. “And this is great: when he emerged from hibernation, he predicted six more weeks of summer.
“Biden had such a successful 18 days with Covid he’s already setting up meetings with shingles and pneumonia,” Fallon joked. “I’m not into conspiracies, but all I’m saying is Beyoncé finally puts out an album and Biden hits a hot streak – you won’t break my soul, Jack.”
Fallon also cheered the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, though as the vote was 51-50 with no Republican support, it was “a great way to let the world know that half of us are united”.
The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, called the 755-page bill the “boldest climate package in US history”.
“The Earth was like ‘thanks for printing out all 755 pages, by the way,’” Fallon added.