RachelWatch: Bull Sessions

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Today: Twitterers 1, Weaselers 0

Shelter Skelter

Rachel took us on a magical journey to the Cayman Islands, home to the fake headquarters of roughly 15 kajillion U.S. companies that are avoiding paying taxes.

Obama wants to close up the loopholes that allow corporations to duck out of their share of taxes to the tune of $21 billion a year.

Rachel welcomed senior White House economist Austan Goolsbee, who was jazzed to hear Rachel talk about closing up tax loopholes on the air. He also described the opposition of Senator Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) as “unbelievably cheeky,” which is the most adorable political trash talk I’ve ever heard.

Yes, of course companies that received government bailouts are opposing tax law reform. I think it’s time for a corporate retreat to the beautiful island of Shut The Hell Up.

One More Thing:

AIG has decided on a new name in the hopes that people will not connect their new spiffy rebranded image to the swirling cesspool of greed, corruption, incompetence, and total irresponsibility that people correctly associate with AIG. Which is still the exact same company.

Their new name is “Valic,” which is Esperanto for “please stop giving our building the finger.”

This plan counts on people not paying attention. For it to work, people couldn’t associate AIG with Valic. People should not be holding the names “AIG” and “Valic” in the same thought at all. The one thing Valic does not want is to be welded to AIG in people’s brains.

They certainly must be hoping that people won’t use the names AIG and Valic closely together in phrases like “Valic, formerly AIG,” or “Valic (AIG),” or “Valic-AIG,” or “AIG/Valic.” Because then everyone might remember that Valic is still AIG, the perfect storm of stupidity, arrogance, and lawlessness that almost collapsed the world economy and then spent millions of taxpayer dollars on a rebranding effort to keep people from remembering that Valic is actually just AIG.

Definitely Ask, Then Tell a Whole Bunch Of People

The official White House website used to say that Obama “agrees that we need to repeal” Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. But then suddenly it magically said Obama supports “changing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in a sensible way.” Because the big compromise that created DADT in the first place worked out so well for everybody.

But then a hue and cry was raised among the Internets, and the repeal of the word “repeal” was repealed.

Rachel summed it up thusly: “Behold the power of the pajama-clad Cheeto-eating twittering blogging hordes!”

Hell, yes! Retie your drawstrings and raise your orange-stained fists in pride.

Grand Old Pizza Party

Rachel filled us in on the latest of the Republican Party’s ongoing attempts at rebranding. At a pizza parlor in a mall in Arlington, VA. I grew up in Northern Virginia, and in fairness to the Republicans, I must say that it’s kind of tricky to be there and not be in a mall.

Slate.com’s Christopher Beam was lucky enough to attend the first National Council for a New America Featuring Lots of Old Republicans.

Ms. Information

In this week’s Friday news dump, someone from inside the White House leaked that Obama may re-start military tribunals in Guantanamo. In addition to swine flu, the Obama administration seems to be dealing with Accelerated Werewolf Syndrome: They get all Bushy on Friday nights.

Rachel also connected the dots between former Senator Ted Stevens (R – Alaska) and the Kentucky Derby. Bill Allen went to jail for bribing Stevens, but as part of his plea, his son Mark got immunity. Mark Allen is now a co-owner of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

I don’t mean to put y’all off your juleps and burgoo, but is anyone else just the teensiest bit uncomfortable that the favorite horse to win scratched on the morning of the race? And that the 50-to-1 long-shot winner is co-owned by the guy with bribery connections?

Sounds like a case for the Order of the Orange Fist.

Secretary of State of Defense

After being challenged by students at Stanford last week, this weekend Condoleezza Rice got grilled about torture by a 4th grader. Ms. Rice has cancelled next week’s scheduled visit to Georgetown University Hospital’s neonatal ward.

NBC News’s Andrea Mitchell joined Rachel to talk about whether Rice really meant to go all Nixon, and then she gave some color commentary on the attempts to bat the blame for torture back to the Department of Justice.

Specter’s Ghost

Remember how earlier in the column the Republicans were adjusting to the times and putting some wise distance between themselves and the hateful nonsense from the fringe? Never mind! Arlen Specter’s replacement as ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

The good news is that he has an in-depth understanding of the judicial confirmation process. The bad news is that he got it when his own judicial nomination was blocked for being the kind of horrible, blatant racist you usually only see in special episodes of 1970’s sitcoms.

Oh, I’m sorry – he says that one time he was just making hilarious jokes about being a horrible, blatant racist. Well, who doesn’t love those?

Steve Benen of WashingtonMonthly.com dropped in to join Rachel in being utterly appalled.

Until next time, keep your spirits high and your pajamas on.

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