On Friday, Lieutenant Dan Choi finally got to speak and Rachel tried to hitch a ride.
President of All Media
Say what you will about Barack Obama, you can’t fault him for lack of communication. Rachel reported on the President’s recent e-mail blast and appearances on talk radio, late-night TV, sports television, MySpace, the community bulletin board at the supermarket, and in the middle of a cluster of cave paintings in Lascaux, France.
Obama also sent a subtitled video greeting to the people of Iran for the Persian New Year, and let’s all take a moment to hope he had the A-list translators working on that one.
After earning a standing invitation to everyone’s New Year’s party, Rachel welcomed Los Angeles Times Beirut bureau chief Borzou Daragahi, who explained that Obama’s greeting will make it harder to turn the opinions of the Iranian people against the President, since he used the mind-blowing tactics of speaking a bit of Farsi and not calling them evil.
One More Thing:
For his New Year’s greetings, Israel’s President Shimon Peres turned to the style of messaging that we’re comfortingly used to, urging the Iranian people to “rejoin the enlightened world”. So it looks like at least you Middle East peace negotiators don’t need to worry about job security.
Rachel also reported on Stephen Colbert’s discovery that his image was being used to sell trousers in Iran. Rachel conceded victory to Colbert’s “slackses of evil” pun, but I’ve seen Ms. Maddow’s love of hernia-inducing wordplay. Keep at it, Rachel. I know you can do worse.
Cops and Robber Barons
Rachel traced the whole giant nightmare AIG problem back to its very beginnings. I knew it! Screw you, archaeopteryxes! Oh, wait. Not that far.
She took us back to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act of 1999, which repealed the barriers that we put up right after the Great Depression to separate retail banks, investment banks, and insurance companies. Gee, I wonder why we put those up.
In between political-financial nerd seduction tips, she also gave us a quick tour of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which should have just been called the We’re Not Even Going To Pretend Anymore Act.
David Cay Johnston, the author Free Lunch, dropped in to say that now that we’ve come within an eyelash of having an economy based on trading siphoned gasoline for looted canned goods, nobody’s going to actually say they were wrong or are sorry, but we might be able to get our financial institutions untangled and back under something that resembles the rule of law.
Then we can go back to crashing economies with tulip panics.
It’s actually a pretty great segment with a good, concise explanation of it all for all those who are just managing to unclamp their hands from their ears and get back out of the fetal position.
Rachel reported on the latest news of the Employee Free Choice Act, which I’m starting to support just because it has such suspiciously rabid opponents on the Web.
The Wall Street Journal has taken the bold journalistic step of no longer actually lying about EFCA, so I guess they have Casual Friday over there too.
Rachel also showed us footage of an underwater volcano eruption. No one was hurt, so you are allowed to notice how awesome it is. She mentioned the plume of smoke was 25,000 feet tall, and other sources have reported that all plant and animal life on the uninhabited island of Hunga Ha’apai has been completely wiped out.
How do we get Hunga Ha’apai renamed after Bobby Jindal?
One on One
Is there some sort of sports tournament going on? I wish they would be more diligent about publicizing it.
Craig Robinson, Oregon State’s basketball coach, dropped in to talk about how no matter what he does for the rest of his life, even if he cures cancer while spacewalking during the Oscars, he is going to be introduced as “Michelle Obama’s brother.”
Rachel wondered if fame and popularity might lead to some really good recruiting for the Beavers. And I am just going to leave that right where it is.
One More Thing:
As of Friday evening, Rachel’s picks for what I’m assuming is the International Sepak Takraw Tournament were tied with Obama’s, inspiring her to ask “I can has fly on Air Force One?”
Oh, man do I wish they had set up some sort of wager like that.
If Rachel gets to ride on Air Force One was up against Obama takes over the Cocktail Moment, I would watch every second of March Hatness.
GOP in Exile
I’m calling it: Michael Steele is officially not a real person. He is clearly a long-running practical joke, like whatever the hell Joachim Phoenix is doing. But you bring us the joy, Michael, so keep it coming!
Right to Serve
Lieutenant Daniel Choi, the founder of Knights Out, returned to try again after Friday’s audio glitch.
Choi pointed out that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell forces soldiers to lie to their platoons and superiors and then every single light in the studio went out. No, just kidding.
He was eloquent and courageous. And could get kicked out of the National Guard for saying he’s gay on television, so start thinking up outraged yet hilarious protest signs just in case. But let’s hope we don’t need any.
Until tonight, be well and enjoy those European netball viewing parties.