Today: Rachel warns of musically induced insanity and Ana Marie Cox torpedoes Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Rachel led off with the news that President Obama had an off-the-record meeting with leaders of human rights and civil liberties groups, who are none too pleased with the President’s sudden attacks of Dubyosity.
Newsweek’s excellent Michael Isikoff checked in with a fascinating inside look at how tense things can get when the President gets pressure from his own base. Thanks to everyone who attended that meeting to insist that you don’t get to suspend civil rights just because you’re having a challenging week.
One More Thing:
The RNC was supposed to vote Wednesday on insisting that the Democratic Party rename itself the Democrat Socialist Party, but stopped short on the grounds that they might look foolish and be extensively, gleefully mocked in every possible form of media.
Aw, you guys, who told?
That’s Gingrich Coming from You
Newt Gingrich, who once wrote an op ed blasting the National Intelligence Estimate as “professionally unworthy,” “intellectually indefensible,” and “fundamentally misleading,” has been doing an extensive media tour to demand that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – California) resign for saying that the CIA misled Congress.
Invest in copper and zinc immediately; I believe the world’s entire brass reserves are in use.
I’m sure that Newt is sensitive about accusations of lying to Congress, seeing as how he had to resign after lying to the House Ethics Committee and all, but there seems to be more to it than that.
Gingrich also says that Pelosi’s statement makes the country more vulnerable to a nuclear attack. I had no idea that CIA agents are so emotionally fragile that if you hurt their feelings they’ll just give up and let those loose nukes go. Are they recruiting out of junior high schools again?
Chris Hayes of The Nation dropped by to reassure Rachel that Gingrich doesn’t actually expect anyone with frontal lobes to believe what he’s saying.
But man, does he count on people not having critical thinking skills. Rachel showed a clip of Diane Sawyer calling Gingrich out on the fact that Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra (Michigan) also said the intelligence community lied to Congress, and Newt doesn’t even try to make a real argument. He just puts the shields up and retreats into a different reality.
While Hayes notes that it’s considered an acceptable political game to shout things that you know are a load so you can get on the teevee, it’s incidents like this that make me respect Gingrich even less than I do Michele Bachmann. Unless she’s really good at faking the crazy eyes, she at least believes a reasonable percentage of her shriekings.
Rachel treated us to a clip of Ana Marie Cox asking White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s a stiletto-sharp slice of awesome.
Rachel also reported that many of the latest supercool racing swimsuits have been banned from competition because they offer an unfair advantage: Thousands of tiny rowers.
Check out the clip for all that, plus Rachel’s revelation of the word that instantly makes anything in the world thirty points less cool.
In case Rachel’s debunking of Gibbs’s DADT statement bummed you out, here’s a little bonus Cox footage from Air America to bring back some of the joy. You get to see an angle on Ms. Cox as she asks the question, not to mention her hilarious, massive annoyance at the guy in front of her.
Reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been in a North Korean jail for 65 days, and may be sentenced to up to 10 years in a labor camp. A trial date has been set, which seems like a good thing, but then again it’s an absolute dictatorship, so everyone’s a little nervous.
Rachel welcomed Governor Bill Richardson (D – New Mexico), who helped spring two North Korean prisoners in the ‘90s. Richardson seemed surprisingly hopeful, and praised the Obama administration’s quiet diplomacy.
GOP in Exile
Former President George W. Bush has been settling into retirement by having long chats with young supporters, including a 14-year-old who Bush talked to for 90 minutes and Patrick Bibb, a 19-year-old student at Texas Christian University.
Though both young men seem to have been eager participants in their conversations, I can see how they might have been reluctant to tell the President who ushered waterboarding into our national toolbox that they weren’t in the mood to talk.
Bibb plans to appear on Thursday’s TRMS and Laura Bush plans, just one last time, to try to get Mr. Bush interested in lawn bowling.
Rachel Re: Behind the Music
The Senate voted down funding to close Guantanamo on Wednesday. While I do believe that it’s important for Congress to take back its oversight powers, the sudden shifts on this one seem to support Rachel’s diagnosis.
Hey, Congressional Democrats? Could you come here for a minute?
You WON, idiots! Remember that? ‘Round about November?
You control both houses of Congress. Most people would rather admit to being convicted felon plague carrying slug fetishists than to being Republicans. Yes, they can make ads and shout loudly on television, but they can’t hurt you.
There is no better time to take political risks &Mdash; and this wasn’t one — than right now. NOW is when you do things!
You have an unprecedented clear path to do some real good in the world. Crawl back out from under your desks and freaking re-join the vertebrates.
Oh, damn. They scurried away.
If nothing else, I can do this small public service: John Boorman, Nicol Williamson, and, yes, that’s Helen Mirren, will now exorcise the inherent scariness from “O Fortuna” and replace it with knights, wizards, and tasteful nudity.