Last night Stephen Colbert kicked off a two-part tribute to the troops who have served (and continue to serve) in Iraq. The show started with Colbert riding in a tank Armored Security Vehicle [ASV] outside the Comedy Central studios near the West Side Highway, and ended with an interview with Vice President Joe Biden, who served hot dogs to a studio audience packed with recently returned troops. Biden quipped that breaking tie votes in the Senate is only one of the vice president's constitutional duties, "the other one is giving hot dogs to returning warriors." Here's an excerpt:

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Been There Won That - Joe Biden & Yogi Berra
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Meanwhile, politicians are talking about holding a ticker tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes, but there's some disagreement over the timing, because some 48,000 troops are still in Iraq. (They'll supposedly be withdrawn by the end of next year.) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tells MSNBC, "It's something we need to do. The troops without a doubt deserve it more than the Yankees and the Giants. If there is a grander gesture, I would want the city to make it." The Giants parade cost the city and private donors about $331,000.

Quinn would like the parade to happen "sooner rather than later," and Republican Congressman Peter King agrees, telling MSNBC, "No matter how somebody feels about the war... we are thanking them for their service. Yes, there are 50,000 troops still there, I'm not minimizing that, [but] a ticker-tape parade is New York's way." But a spokesperson for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America says, "We are hearing from our members whose sons, mothers, sisters and husbands are still deployed in Iraq, and for them the war is far from over. We hope NYC gives our troops the heroes welcome they deserve when all of our men and women are home safely."