Today: Joe Lieberman threatens a filibuster, our infrastructure gets an upgrade, and you’re probably being bugged right now. Plus strippers.
Rachel started us off with the news that Senator Joe Lieberman (D – Connecticut) (for now) is being really super-annoying again.
Now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nevada) has announced that there will be a public health care option in the Senate health care reform bill, Lieberman has stated that he’ll block a vote on any bill that contains one.
Since Lieberman’s reasoning behind that makes no freaking sense, we’ll have to assume that he got jealous of all the attention Senator Olympia Snowe (R – Maine) got last week and now he’s acting out.
Democrats, I know he’s annoying, but could you try putting his drawings up on the fridge in the Senate breakroom?
Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake.com dropped in to discuss possible political consequences for Lieberman.
Frankly, Lieberman had better hope there are political consequences, because otherwise members of the American public will have to default to the only punishment they have left: Constantly giving Joe Lieberman the finger.
Assuming members of the American public have any fingers left.
Moment of Geek
What could move the Moment of Geek this high in the show? Infrastructure! (Yes, you get the Infrastructure Growl in this clip.)
President Obama gave out the largest stimulus award in a single day thus far. The money will go toward updating our nation’s electric grid, which is currently being held together by duct tape and spider webs.
Vice President Biden, in turn, announced that an old GM auto plant will become a new auto plant, only now it will be putting out supercool sexy electric cars.
So it might be time to start talking to your current car about its end-of-life decisions. Broach the subject gently so it doesn’t go all Christine on you.
Fringe and Purge
Rachel noted that many prominent far-right politicians are jumping all over New York’s District 23 race, in which the Democratic candidate is watching wide-eyed and joyous as the Republican candidate is being challenged by Douglas Hoffman, a Conservative candidate.
Rachel astutely pointed out that the helpful Marilyn Musgrave, Rick Santorum, Steve Forbes, and Fred Thompson all got stomped so hard in their last election attempts that they struck oil, and yet somehow they still think that driving the party farther to the right is a neato idea.
How much farther to the right can the party go? Whose vote are they trying to pick up over there? Vlad the Impaler’s?
Anyway, now that the far-right bullies are realizing that they can wield actual power, other Republicans are making the mind-bendingly dumb decision of scrambling to cater to them.
Thus Governor Tim Pawlenty (R – Minnesota) is now in the awkward position of trying to prove that he is less smart and reasonable than he seems to be.
Good luck with that, Governor! Try not to gnash your teeth too loudly during those long, dark nights of the soul!
Rachel brought us the hot-off-the-presses news that The New York Times is reporting that Afghanistan’s incredibly corrupt President Karzai’s even more corrupt brother gets regular payments from the CIA, and has been doing so for the better part of eight years.
Don’t worry — I’m sure it’s nothing like a full salary. Just a little something to supplement his opium trafficking. And buy some cool decals for the paramilitary group.
On the heels of that inspiring reminder of just what we’re fighting for, Rachel reported that eight more American troops were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, bringing the death toll for October alone to 55 — and that’s only counting the American lives lost.
Matthew Hoh, until recently the senior U.S. civilian in Afghanistan working for the State Dept, also had trouble justifying the loss of life, and has resigned in protest of the war.
Deparment of Corrections
Rachel had previously reported that The New York Times waited more than eight years for an interview with former President Bush, which was incorrect.
While the Bush White House didn’t grant the Times any interviews during his second term, he didn’t freeze them out for the full ride.
Rachel regretted the error and let her inner nerd out to apologize and pledge even greater commitment to correctness in the future.
“A Trade Show for War Profiteers”
Rachel brought us the joyous news that the International Peace Operations Association just had its annual summit in Washington, D.C.
The participants in the convention for private security companies included Blackwater, ArmorGroup, and DynCorp International.
If you decide to attend the convention next year, think twice before you pick up swag.
In the Dark
Back in May, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D – California) said that Congress had been misled by the intelligence community.
Turns out she was correct.
And I must have been in a coma or abducted by aliens for a couple of days and not noticed it, because I distinctly remember that after Pelosi’s initial announcement, Newt Gingrich went on about 40,000 talk shows to pitch fits about what an awful awful thing she said and how she should resign immediately and wear sackcloth and ashes for the rest of her days.
But it turns out Pelosi was correct — really, terrifyingly correct — and somehow I have missed Newt Gingrich’s national apology tour.
That’s what a responsible adult who is so very worried about accuracy in politics would do, right? Admit that he was wrong and apologize for being such a vicious, shrieking hosebeast?
Maybe he’s just waiting for the blooming season of the perfect floral offering.
I’m focusing on waiting for Newt to nard up and freaking apologize because it is something I can get my brain around. Which is in marked contrast to the news that our intelligence community has been operating with enormous budgets and no real oversight for heaven knows how long.
Well, heaven doesn’t really know concretely for how long. Heaven has been briefed on a need-to-know basis. Except for those things the intelligence community left out.
Live Newt Girls
There is no good reason for me to include this clip, except that it’s fun. And it involves all-around classy guy Newt Gingrich, some exotic dancers, and a heartwarming story about dogs.
Which is a good thing, because it looks like those dancers don’t have much else to keep their hearts warm.